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Larry Crowne

A 2011 movie directed by Tom Hanks.

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Hanks goes back to school, fails miserably.

  • Jul 1, 2011
Written by Tom Hanks and Nia Vardalos
Directed by Tom Hanks
Starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Cedric the Entertainer
It’s nothing personal against Tom Hanks – I like the guy – but he would not be my first choice to write, direct and star in a feature about the difficulties one faces when one loses a thankless job in the middle of one’s life. Larry Crowne is uneducated, which employer, U-Mart, uses as an excuse to let the long time worker go. Larry decides to go back to college so this never happens again and there he gets a makeover, joins a scooter gang and falls in something that I think is supposed to resemble love with his teacher, Mercedes (Julia Roberts). By keeping the tone light and avoiding what should be the harsh reality of the situation, Hanks, the former everyman, only shows how far removed from the rest of us he now is.
To be fair, even though this is clearly a Hanks passion project, he should not bear the full brunt of the blame for how insipid LARRY CROWNE is. Some of that responsibility falls distinctly on the shoulders of his co-writer, and good friend, Nia Vardalos. You may remember Vardalos as the author and star of the biggest independent film of all time, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING. She played up stereotypes and clichés as much as possible back then and her lack of connection with what is real has not improved since. To call the “revelations” made in LARRY CROWNE simple would be itself an oversimplification. For instance, did you know that social networking is apparently responsible for ruining the attention spans of young people? Or more importantly, were you aware that student apathy in class has spread and apparently has now affected the teaching community as well? My personal favorite lesson learned in LARRY CROWNE is how the stuff we own eventually owns us. Clearly, I’m a much better person for having seen this.
This is a film about education but yet I learned absolutely nothing. This is a film about starting over and yet nothing about LARRY CROWNE felt remotely new. Perhaps when you’re as famous as Hanks, and backed by the equally famous Roberts no less, nobody dares tell you that what you’re making isn’t working. The tone is not serious, even though at times it certainly should be, but it is never actually funny either. It exists in some sort of film purgatory and forces us to suffer there with it. Maybe Hanks himself should consider going back to school; he clearly could stand to learn a thing or two about making movies and something I like to call real life.

Thanks for reading.
LUNCH rating is out of 10.

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Hanks goes back to school, fails miserably. Hanks goes back to school, fails miserably. Hanks goes back to school, fails miserably.

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July 01, 2011
Ok, now I can relax and see something more worthwhile....nice review!
July 08, 2011
Avoid at all costs. Candidate for worst film of the year.
July 09, 2011
No the worst film of the year is ZOOKEEPER.
July 09, 2011
Fortunately, I have not and will not be seeing that one.
July 01, 2011
Total agree. The film was insulting to our intelligence. One of the most annoying films we've seen in a long time. Good review by the way.
July 08, 2011
Thanks. I could not get over how insipid this film was. It was not only an insult to our intelligence but also an insult to anyone who actually might find themselves in Crowne's position. It isn't easy to start again at that age and everything just came together perfectly for him without having to try at all.
More Larry Crowne reviews
review by . November 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
** out of ****    "Larry Crowne" is an unspectacular, bland romance. If one could sum it all up as simplistically as possible, that would be my first choice. A film like this - one that is neither good nor particularly bad - leaves no room for sudden enthusiasm. I watched the film, I tried to get involved in it, but the film doesn't pay off as well as it wants to and becomes the sort of film where you can almost tell when it isn't even trying. In this film's case, that's most …
review by . March 26, 2012
Claire Danes does an amazing job of portraying an amazing woman.    Temple Grandin does not see, think or feel things like the average person. Her photographic mind is wired to visualize life, gadgets and needed changes yet she isn't able to communicate this very well. The world would benefit from her skills but first she has to get through college, good old boys, and ignorant idiots so her ideas can make a difference.    The cinematography is designed to …
review by . June 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Larry Crowne
       By Joan Alperin-Schwartz      Once upon a time, a Hollywood actor named Tom decided to write a film about a middle aged average guy who loses his job, goes to college, makes some new friends, joins a motor scooter gang, gets a makeover, and has his house foreclosed on..      Oh...in case I forgot to mention...He meets an alcholic college Professor who looks very much like Julia Roberts. They of course fall in …
review by . January 18, 2012
Tom Hanks stars a Larry Crowne, a happy, friendly, hard worker at a Target-like store who gets laid off because he never went to college. He enrolls in a community college, makes friends with a lot of young students, and is lucky enough to have a speech teacher played by Julia Roberts.      Co-written and directed by Hanks, this movie falls flat. It’s good-natured and wholesome enough, but so innocuous and predictable that I fell asleep twice and rewatching it didn’t …
review by . July 02, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Larry Crowne is strained, unfocused, and pointless, which is both strange and appalling given the talent attached to it: Tom Hanks, who not only stars but was also the director, one of the producers, and the co-writer; Julia Roberts, who co-stars; Nia Vardalos, the other half of the screenwriting team. Between them, they have three Oscars and six Oscar nominations, and don’t even get me started on the Golden Globes. How could any of them have …
Quick Tip by . August 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Not as bad as what the other Lunch reviewers have claimed. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit despite the fact that it is a no-brainer. In addition, the lack of chemistry between Hanks & Robert is another downside. Other than that, considering the way the world is now and the scripting, it's really not too bad.       Some hilarious moments, some thought provoking actions and some touching scenes... well, that's all it takes ;-) For those who are not into movies, …
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #24
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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About this movie



Director: Tom Hanks
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Release Date: 1 July 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Tom Hanks, Nia Vardalos
Runtime: 99 min
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