Sunday, 25 October 2020
Larry Crowne
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 11:15

Larry CrowneIf you’ve ever had the joy of watching the sitcom Community on television, skip seeing Larry Crowne altogether and count yourself lucky. Both are about a guy going back to school as a mature student, and both call themselves comedies – but only one delivers on laughs and Larry Crown ain’t it.

I think the story is meant as a sympathetic little hug for all the folks who caught a rough break during the recession; not exactly a funny subject to start with, but a real one at least. Tom Hanks is his likeable self as Larry, a good-natured guy who loves his job at the U-Mart until he getsGugu and Tom - most irritating classmates EVER! downsized. He decides that going back to college might help get his life back on track and get him a decent job. He reinvents himself with the help of a really annoying “cool” girl (Gugu Mbata-Raw) in his class who makes up names for people and calls him “Lance” for no reason. In the process, he starts really living again despite his problems.

Julia Roberts plays the teacher who helps that happen. Never mind that she’s so glum she can hardly get out of bed in the morning, or that she has a husband who surfs (fully clothed for the PG-rating) porn all day while she brings home the bacon. Eventually, Larry’s zest for life and willingness to embrace change starts to work its magic on her too.

Hanks impressing RobertsLarry Crowne has the potential to be as sweet and simple as its’ protagonist. There are a few genuinely funny moments, and both Hanks and Roberts are good in their roles. Unfortunately it just comes across as contrived and sometimes so ridiculous I actually rolled my eyes! It’s more like a made for TV movie than a summer blockbuster and I’d expect more given the level of talent involved from writers Tom Hanks and Nia Vardalos (of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame).

If you’re looking for some back-to-school laughs, give Community a try instead of Larry Crowne. I guarantee you’ll laugh and feel less embarrassed for the actors.

Directed by Tom Hanks, Starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts.

Several supporting roles to mention are George Takei (Star Trek’s Sulu), Pam Grier, Cedric the Entertainer, Bryan Cranston (TV’s Breaking Bad) and Tom Hanks’ wife Rita Wilson.