Larry Crowne (2011)

Larry Crowne is the newest film directed by Tom Hanks, written by him and Nia Vardalos, starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Pam Grier, Taraji P. Henson, Cedric the Enterainer, Bryan Cranston and George Takei.

Larry (Tom Hanks) has been working at a supermarket every since he left the navy and he loves his job. But then he gets fired and decides to reinvent himself. He starts a college course, gets a scooter and finds new friends, especially Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who helps him re-arrange his life. And to top it all off, Larry falls in love with his teacher Mercedes (Julia Roberts) who is unhappy with her own life.

Larry Crowne is a sweet film. It’s not great, it’s not brilliant, it’s not awesome but it’s nice and fun and gives you an entertaining couple of hourse.

Larry Crowne is a pretty shallow film. There are no grand thoughts, no epiphanies or fodder for thought. For all that, it has a good heart and the nice message that it’s never too late to turn your life around, to start fresh and to fall in love. And who doesn’t want to hear that?

There is no suspense, we go in knowing that, in the end, Larry will have his happy end because he is such a nice guy, he deserves his happy end. Hanks does manage to make Larry amiable enough that this isn’t annoying: you still want Larry to succeed. Though that sentence might imply more tension than the movie actually musters.

Julia Roberts is wonderful in this film as the cynical, borderline alcoholic, frustrated Mercedes. Especially her interaction with Bryan Cranston is brilliant. And George Takei had me laughing my ass off. Tom Hanks himself was fine in all his capacities in this film, though I didn’t think he really excelled at anything.

The film is populated by nice people which kinda makes it the opposite to The Hangover and its like. And if I have the choice between misanthropy that pretends to be humor and shallow niceties, I will always choose the nice world-view.

Summarising: perfect film for a lazy, comfortable evening.


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