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Larry Crowne

A 2011 movie directed by Tom Hanks.

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You'll leave unimpressed, considering the many talents involved, but you MIGHT be entertained. MIGHT

  • Nov 30, 2011
** 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 of the time.

Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) loses his job. He searches for a new one, but is unsuccessful in his findings. Of course, this makes him rather depressed and thus he is nearly hopeless. But then he reflects on why his company fired him; the main reason being because he has not received a college education. Therefore, Larry goes back to school in order to earn his diploma and get himself a real job in the future, and finds something deeper and perhaps more fulfilling than education alone.

You see, Larry Crowne is a fascinatingly nice man. He seems as if he has been since the day he was born; we first see him at the job that he lost early on, and he's happy. Later on, he's also happy. When will he not be happy? When a guy can allow us to believe he's content even when he's going through stages of depression, that's some real talent in the field of friendliness and eternal optimism. If the film wins any awards - and as far as the real ones go, it shouldn't win close to any - then Hanks' character might win big as the most unrealistically happy guy in a movie so far this year.

While attending college, Larry befriends a friendly and accepting gang of scooter-riders, acts sarcastically in his classes, and woos one of his teachers; the melancholic and unhappy Mercedes (Julia Roberts), whose marriage is slowly falling apart as her husband has lost interest in her and has discovered a new-found love in internet blogging.

We know that Larry will get the girl. We know that the movie is going to have an upbeat ending. We know that everything is going to work out all-right and people are going to continue to like Larry as much as he likes them; and we also know that while this all happens, we'll be close to a pleasant snooze. This is how I felt when watching the film; it sticks deadly close to formula and pulls no punches. Some formula movies are redeemed through style and some clever plotting; this one is well-acted and easy to swallow, but a tedious bore nonetheless. There just wasn't anything to be entertained by; good performances all-around - particularly by the leading stars, who use this film as a sort of vehicle for their long-running careers - as well as a few other good roles as well, one of which is filled by the massively talented Cedric the Entertainer; who does exactly what his stage name suggests.

"Larry Crowne" is the kind of movie that one can neither recommend nor ridicule with criticism. Most who go to it will get exactly what they're looking for; an excessively straight-forward romance with the expected laughs and drama thrown in for extra measure. If that's all it takes to impress you, then this movie may be for you. It has an appealing cast, and Hanks also directed and co-wrote the movie; so there's a curious attribute of marketing right there. But it isn't enough to save the famed actor's directorial debut from feeling dry and absolutely lacking in both soul and ambition. If it had a style, a vision, or a place to go; I might have liked it a bit more. But Hanks does nothing to take his movie beyond Lifetime-level sentimentality, and he demonstrates what happens when you've got a perfectly promising set-up and some good actors, whilst stripping a genre picture of most of its essentials. Who knows; Hanks could indeed improve as a filmmaker someday, but this doesn't prove much beyond that he's one to waste a lot of potential when he's both in front of and behind the camera. My kind words would be: choose a side, and stick with it.

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More Larry Crowne reviews
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 . July 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Hanks goes back to school, fails miserably.
LARRY CROWNE   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, …
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
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … 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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