MOVIE REVIEW: Larry Crowne
Having Tom Hanks attached doesn't make this film salvageable
This Larry Crowne affair starts off with a mediocre ELO song, showing a montage of Tom Hanks working at the store. We quickly realize he’s a great employee who knows the regular customers – even before we find out he’s won multiple “employee of the month” awards.
Hanks produced and directed this film, and he co-wrote it with Nia Vardalos. He’s been friends with her ever since his wife Rita Wilson produced her My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
She’s since done Connie & Carla, My Life in Ruins, and I Hate Valentine’s Day. It’s time she take a screenwriting class or just hangs it up. Her track record is awful.
The studio must have loved the fact that they assembled the cast they did. Vardalos had to be happy Hanks’ name was attached to the project. If anybody else had written this screenplay, there’s not a studio around that would’ve given it the green light.
Julia Roberts plays a teacher that’s lost her passion for the job. In the film, she’s married to Bryan Cranston (who has a few funny lines). He sits around writing blogs and surfing the net for porn.All this turns Roberts into an alcoholic. Falling for Hanks gets her on the wagon.
Cedric the Entertainer had a few funny scenes as the neighbor always smoking a pipe, having a garage sale, and philosophizing about life.Rob Riggle (The Daily Show) is always cast as a tough-guy jerk in movies, and he did nothing in this. In fact, he made the scene of Hanks being fired unbelievable. There’s no way that entire situation would’ve happened the way it did, including the fact that they didn’t like his lack of a college degree.George Takei (Star Trek) was perfectly cast as an economics professor, but he was wasted. And with lines like “They call it a smart phone, but it’s not very smart to use it in my class,” you wonder what Hanks and Vardalos were thinking.
This is just unauthentic rom-com crap that was dull. Just having a fish-out-of-water scenario of Hanks going back to college isn’t enough.
There’s no chemistry between any of the characters.
I thought Sleepless in Seattle was cute enough to recommend. I’m not that tough a critic on these types of films.
Some of the other actors wasted in this movie include: Pam Grier (what happened, Jackie Brown?), Wilmer Valderrama (That ‘70s Show), and Rita Wilson (who does make me chuckle always offering “complimentary coffee”).
The subplot that has Hanks changing to be more hip and fit in with a scooter club is ridiculous every time they’re on screen. There was a funny moment when Cedric sees them roll into the neighborhood and exclaims “We’re bein’ invaded!”
We get it, Tom. You’re a nice guy. You’re a good actor. That doesn’t mean you can just show up on screen and melt our hearts.This has got to be the worst Hanks movie in decades. And the speech he gives near the end of the movie, combining all the other students’ speech topics into his, was the most idiotic scene I’ve seen in a movie this year.
Rent the underrated Promotion from a few years ago. It has John C. Reilly and Seann William Scott working at a grocery store with much more interesting results. For younger people that haven’t see Back to School, watch it next time it’s on the Comedy Channel.
Skip this movie.