Larry Crowne

(2010)

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Review: Larry Crowne

Transcript for Review: Larry Crowne

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
That’s Tom Hanks knocking at the door in our next movie, “Larry Crowne,” a romantic comedy that reunites Hanks and Julia Roberts. Hanks -- who also directed and co-wrote the script -- stars as the title character, a longtime employee of one of those behemoth superstores. Middle-aged and divorced, he finds himself downsized out of his job, so he decides it's finally time to go to college.

CLIP 1 -- Lamar tries to sell Larry a college course schedule

That's Cedric the Entertainer and Taraji P. Henson as Larry's wisecracking neighbors. Larry enrolls in a speech class where Roberts' character is the frustrated and frequently hungover professor.

CLIP 4 -- Mrs. Tainot tries to cancel her 8am class

Larry finds his life turned upside down not just by his teacher but by a gorgeous fellow student named Talia, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Out of nowhere, she invites him to join her scooter gang, rearranges his furniture and gives him a makeover.

CLIP 5 -- Talia hooks Larry up with some new clothes.

Hanks wrote the screenplay with longtime friend Nia Vardalos, and the shticky nature of her style is just overpowering. Hanks and Roberts previously co-starred in "Charlie Wilson's War," directed by Mike Nichols and written by Aaron Sorkin. By comparison this is reminder that, even with two of the most likable stars on the planet, a strong script is crucial to making them shine. Thumbs down.

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
This movie’s heart is in the right place, but that might be the only right thing about it.

CHRISTY:
Yeah.

IGNATIY:
I mean there’s so much wrong with this film. Um, I admire the sort of recession era populist attitude.

CHRISTY:
It’s totally relevant. It needs to be told.

IGNATIY: 
And it works for, you know up until Hanks gets to college. I think the early scene where he’s getting fired is really really sharp, but then the movie starts, you know, getting in these really weird caricatures. And mind you most of the actors in this are fairly good. Roberts is fine. Hanks is just as, you know, likable as he normally is.

CHRISTY:
Wilmer Valderrama is actually really good in it.

IGNATIY:
But Wilmer Valderrama is a good actor. He’s good in Fast Food Nation I think. Um, but when like the scooter gang starts snapping is..

CHRISTY:
Yeah.

IGNATIY:
Is really when this film veers into really high camp.

CHRISTY:
Well, that they accept him in the first place. So this Talia, this beautiful, gorgeous exciting creature looks at this schlumpy dude and says, “I’m going adopt you and fix your life.” I didn’t believe a second.

IGNATIY:
And Roberts’ husband plays a completely one-dimensional character.

CHRISTY:
Totally.

IGNATIY:
And mind you, dear viewer, if you do end up seeing Larry Crowne, stay for the credits. They’re the most unintentionally hilarious end credits that I think I’ve seen in a film in quite sometime.

CHRISTY:
They’re not good.

IGNATIY:
Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts riding scooters in front of a green screen. It looks so bad.