Movie: Larry Crowne (PG-13)
Release Date: July 1st, 2011
Watched On: June 28th, 2011
Ticket Price: Press Screening
Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Bryan Cranston, Cedric the Entertainer & Taraji P. Henson
Director: Tom Hanks
Runtime: 1 hr. 39 min.
Rating: Check it Out When it Hits the Likes of HBO or Showtime –
Synopsis: A guy that was good at his job and respected by his co-workers gets let go in a wave of corporate downsizing because he lacks advancement potential not having a college degree. Not sure what to do next, he decides to go to college, hoping that a degree will help him in the job market. Along the way he meets some new and interesting friends at school and starts to develop feelings for one of his instructors, who herself has lost passion in what she does and her life in general.
Review: Larry Crowne provides some laughs and is cute in places, but it doesn’t exactly scoot along. It’s actually quite tedious. Kept waiting for it to get rolling, but it just putts along with spurts of comedy. It feels much longer than it’s runtime. While telling a friend about the movie she asked, “So, pretty much all the funny stuff is in the trailer?” And, I responded, “Yes, for the most part and it’s very well spaced throughout the movie.”
Larry Crowne was written by Hanks, whose previous writing credits are That Thing You Do! and a few episodes of the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers and From the Earth to the Moon, and Nia Vardalos, who is best known for writing and starring in the romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I’d recommend watching any of those before you ever see this.
They were able to create some good characters and a few funny situations, but the overall story is pretty mundane and poorly paced. Also, there are some scenes throughout that evoke laughter because they are absurdly stupid, yet I don’t believe they were going for comedy in those instances. One is at the end and is meant to be a big sweet moment, but produced snickers.
In addition to starring and writing, Hanks also directed Larry Crowne. So, he is doubly at fault for the pacing and the final result.
The one semi-bright spot is the acting. Hanks and Roberts both bring their well honed skill sets to their characters and give performances that their fans will recognize and enjoy. Plus, I applaud them for being willing to fully go for it in some silly situations. Rami Malek (TV’s The Pacific miniseries), as a fellow student, and Wilmer Valderrama (TV’s That ’70s Show), as the leader of the scooter pack, are both used really well in supporting roles.
Overall, Larry Crowne is not the movie the advertisements would have you believe. It starts on a downer and never really picks up, even with a solid amount of humor scattered throughout. While it does give you a happy ending, you’ll just be happy that it’s finally ending.