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|Index||164 reviews in total|
Larry Crowne (Hanks) has lost his job and his mortgage is under water
and he now has a lot of free time on his hands. What to do? What to Do?
He decides to go back to school and start over.
This was okay, but we expected more especially when we see big name stars in the mix. Didn't get it. Still it was okay. No constant language, no raunchy sex talk and no stupid or silly goings on. One might say it was too bland almost snoozeable. The script was a little beyond 1950s. It is watchable only to see how Larry makes out.
All the acting performances were fine. Tom Hanks directed this and the effort seemed to be somewhat tentative, but it was okay. Mercedes Tainot (Roberts) is a teacher who is tired of teaching and probably of life itself. Economics teacher, Dr. M (Takei) was a little too animated, and almost embarrassing. Lamar (Cedric etc) was okay; he had a perpetual yard sale going on his lawn. Again, look to the script, but all was okay.
Two things come out of left field. The finger snapping which allows Larry to join the Scooter Gang. Don't ask. And, the Scooters themselves. Larry gets one to save on gas and ends up joining a school scooter gang, but the gang is docile. As the scooter gang rides by real bikers at one of their haunts, they get a wave from the bikers. Tame and almost funny. See? That was the comedy in here.
I suppose we were all waiting for the love connection between Larry and Mercedes. An awkward attempt was made by both and that cooled off like it never happened until the last scenes where the assumption was they are hooking up. We didn't care and was glad the movie ended at that point. Chemistry for that kind of action between these two just wasn't there.
There needs to be a hard and fast rule that says when a man's name is the title of a movie, the story should be about corporate espionage, spies, cops and robbers or some such. Some recent names come to mind Michael Clayton, Harry Brown, Max Payne. When I first saw the title Larry Crowne I jumped for joy thinking I was going to see some kind of thriller. HA! Fooled again.
Violence: No. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Language: Yes. One F-bomb was heard.
Nowadays, anyone with a high school education can get a well-paying job with benefits in 1966.
Unfortunately, the unemployed veteran in this dramedy doesn't have access to a time machine.
Due to a lack of post-secondary education, Larry (Tom Hanks) is let go from his job at the local U-mart.
After some soul-searching he decides to enroll in community college. There, he becomes acquainted with his younger classmates, who initiate him into their scooter gang.
Meanwhile, Larry's love life picks up when his married teacher (Julia Roberts) becomes available.
Amidst all his socializing, Larry must also procure employment and save his home from foreclosure.
Lacking both the illumination and the laughs required to be anything more than a million- dollar ad campaign for continuing education, Larry Crowne fails.
However, going back to school in your 40s does makes sense, because after working for 20 years, you can finally afford to pay tuition. (Red Light)
When Tom Hanks directed his first movie in 1996, it became an instant
yet unexpected critical success. "That Thing You Do" not only appealed
to the young at heart of the 1990s as well as an older generation
smitten by The Beatles, it was Hanks' first film as writer and
director. With "Larry Crowne", Hanks makes a comeback while also
producing and co-writing with Nia Vardalos, the writer and star of "My
Big fat Greek Wedding".
With this movie, Hanks plays another nice-guy, a role he has perfected ever since he won his first Oscar for the likable aids patient in "Philadelphia". As the titled character, he plays an ex navy cook now employed as a team-leader in a department store. Larry is the perfect employee and leads by example, so expects to be 'crowned' employee of the month for the ninth time when he is summoned by store management. Instead, he is in for a rude shock. Management has unanimously decided that Larry has no chance of career advancement due to his lack of college education. Divorced, middle-aged, out of a job and behind on his mortgage payments, Larry has no choice but to go back to school. However, attending community college proves to be a turning point in his life. Opting for economics and communications, Larry is initially a fish out of water. This is where he meets Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and her gang of scooter-bikers led by Dell Gordo (Wilmer Valderrama). Unlike motorcycle outlaws, Talia and her friends prove to be a revelation to Larry and open his eyes to the simplicities of life. In walks Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts), Larry's speech and communications teacher who is as passionate about teaching as she is about her down-hill marriage. As they say "better late than never", Larry soon discovers the joys of college life― a time of re-invention, discovery, youthfulness and even the slight case of college infatuation.
For a romantic-comedy, this movie is not short of subtle comic moments including one or two scenes that will have you burst into laughter. You have to keep in mind that this is Tom Hanks in the lead and not Adam Sandler or Ben Stiller, so don't expect to be rolling on the floor gasping for breath. While Hanks does what he does best, there is a slight trace of Forrest Gumpness in his character. Then again, this is Hanks in his comfort zone and does not really risk it when putting Larry in the spotlight. The real chuckles and laughs come from a huge array of supporting roles. Some of these include Cedric the Entertainer as Larry's neighbor, Rami Malek as a spaced-out classmate, George Takei as the economics professor and Wilmer Valderrama as Talia's suspicious boyfriend with cameos from Pam Grier and Rita Wilson (Hanks' real-life wife). Towards the end of the movie, the two women playing the influence on Larry's life is Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Julia Roberts. While the former does well as a free-spirited and always optimistic co-ed, Roberts appears a bit underplayed. Perhaps this has to do with the way her Tainot is penned for the screen. However, as an actress, Roberts still has her old-school charm and that distinct sparkle in her eyes we have grown to love about her.
At the very worst and depending on your frame of mind while watching it, this movie can loose its pacing at times, and ends up as a mediocre romantic-comedy, in addition to a few loose ends. On the other hand, it tops with a strong feel-good factor punctuated with an inspirational sense of achievement when push comes to shove. Finally, Hanks and Vardalos have integrated subtle messages relating to the current financial crises and how middle-class people can reduce its impact should they be willing to swallow a little bit of pride. As a whole, many people won't find this movie overly enjoyable; but there will be a lot like myself, who will find its light-hearted take on mid-life crises an entertaining watch.
"I was downsized, I'm here to make sure that never happens again."
After thinking he will receive his 9th employee of the month award,
Larry (Hanks) is fired because he never went to college. After talking
to his neighbor he decides to enroll and change his life. Going in I
was thinking, Tom Hanks is in this...this will be good. After watching
it I have to say it was even better then I expected it to be. Besides
the obvious great acting watching a 50 year old man start his life over
is pretty inspiring to watch. This is not an Oscar worthy movie, but
this is the type of movie you can watch over and over again. Every now
and then I really like watching the light hearted type movies that are
just fun and stress free to watch. This is a perfect example of that.
Overall, a must see movie that will leave you feeling good after you
are done. I give it an A.
*Also try - Eat, Pray, Love & Everything Must Go
This is really a good movie that should be viewed by all young people. I have to say, I'm surprised to see it is not scoring much higher. It is not laced up with sex or violence, so perhaps that is a factor. But it is a fairly honest look at life in America for many people. If I had to take a star, I guess it would be for the subliminal pizza marketing. But perhaps it was just my imagination. The script was right on with portraying of the community college experience. I would like to have seen a few more scenes from the public speaking classroom. It should have been easy to produce, and I think a lot of people could have identified with that type of program and how interesting they can be. This is just a simple, feel-good movie that keeps you entertained.
Don't get me wrong... Tom Hanks is great! By far my favourite actor in fact, in terms of both versatility and talent. However this movie was very dull. I battled to keep my eyes open, especially listening to the speeches. I'm guessing politicians take that class? I couldn't fault the acting of any member of the cast and it had a couple of light slightly amusing moments, but the story line was more boring than watching grass grow. I loved the look Larry gave when he was put off. It was a look of heartfelt demoralization and devastation. I hope if Tom reads this review he does not get that same look on his face. Sorry Tom, but one of my faults is my candid honesty. If it were me I would respect the same.
Hanks' earlier films like the bachelor party, the money pit talk about average situations in comedy style. Then comes Forrest Gump and he's acting characters become a little bit "the lost man". (But its my opinion) This film is a little bit like Jim Carey's Yesman. But there is more moral say. Larry Crowne is answer on the question "quo vadis?" Back or straight ahead? The Company Men film is handling the same question from several views. Larry makes his decision. And almost everything is on his side. What is not, he makes it...Larry is for me something what Edison said Genius: one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. He didn't look back, go and work with that, what he have or what the fate gives him. And because he is a good and honest man, a lot is given him. But after all, it could be more better with little effort-don't ask how... Good movie, I think....
Larry Crowne is essential an indie project with A-listers - this is not
big production or even a super feel good movie - instead it is a tale
of contemporary values in middle America - and is a tale about going
through the dip.
Larry Crowne has a touch of honesty and humor and innocence that has been lacking in cinema for a while. It is both a fairytale with the improbable knight, Tom Hanks, turning up on his improbable steed, a blue bottom of the line moped, to rescue the very bored princess, Julia Roberts, who is a teacher in speaking at a small college, and a tilt at the reality of the New Depression - but does so without resorting to massive flights of fancy, or becoming maudlin about it.
All in all, if you like romantic comedies then you will enjoy this - there are subtexts going on here about the meaning of success and purpose in life, and here friendships are the key, that are even inspirational and we really enjoyed it - simple, innocent, fun, and honest are not bad qualities in any movie...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I asked myself, why are the ratings so low (less than 6 at time of this
review). It's a Tom Hanks movie with Julia Roberts, so why? Well having
read a few reviews and critics, I simply could not relate the comments
to the ratings, so to hell with the ratings. If we all had to rate life
on our planet or in our country, I'll bet the ratings would not be very
good either but hey, would we give up? No. That is exactly what Larry
Crowne does, he does not give up when life as he knew it comes to an
abrupt end; he loses his job and faces the prospect of losing his home,
well he actually does, past midway through the movie. However, he picks
himself up, goes to work at a menial job in a restaurant, goes back to
school to learn new skills and in the process finds exactly what he set
out to, a new life. Mercedes Tainot, played by Julia Roberts, also
going through the most joyless period of her life, with no motivation
in her job as a teacher, married to a bum, is the person Crowne found
to be the one who can make life worth living for. Ther are no no big
sparks flying, no passionate sex even implied, just a promise of what
can be; it's a kind of developping relationship that looks and feels
This movie has no special effects, it is no funnier than most of what we experience in our daily lives and the only action going on is cerebral. It wont have you on the edge of your seat, you can predict several of the scenes, the characters in the movie are nothing special, everything is so very ordinary; the 1980 movie 'Ordinary People' was nominated for oodles of Acadeny Awards and won four, including best picture, so ordinary is not such a bad thing. 'Larry Crown' has more simplicity than any movie I've watched in years, it is as contemporary as it gets. Hanks and Roberts manage not to overplay their roles and that is very good. If you are the kind of person who can smile when you look in the mirror, if you know that life and death situations are the only situations worth fussing over and if you can see beauty in the simplest of things, you will like this movie. Most viewers will expect more and thus we have low ratings; I can't say it is an exciting movie but it will leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling if you let it; I believe that's what Hanks was aiming for when he wrote it. It's a nice change of pace from those Dan Brown extravaganzas.
Why they bothered to make this movie beats me. 2 of the biggest stars in Hollywood Julia & Tom couldn't rescue it. It was boring uninteresting totally unfunny. There are actually no laughs, romance, or drama. None of the characters were involving or sympathetic. The basic premise is depressing without any silver lining - a middle aged man gets retrenched, faces foreclosure, goes back to school and then finds love with his teacher. Julia Roberts looks prettier than of late. The color of her hair and her makeup somehow made her look quite lovely and young again. She is not suited to the cranky role. Tom Hanks is too old and puffy looking. You can barely make out the expressions on his face anymore. The supporting cast has such lame and silly roles from Wilmer Valderrama to George Takei. Overall - skip this one even if you are a huge fan of the 2 leads.
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