Film Review: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts Repurpose ‘Larry Crowne’

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CHICAGO – Movie stars need certain types of films to keep their star power safe and audiences expect certain things from them, with limitations, to create summer movie comfort. Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts fill the bill in “Larry Crowne.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

Tom Hanks wrote (with Nia Vardalos) and directed this film, which on the surface purports to create a ripped-from-the-headlines story about a middle age man who loses his job and faces foreclosure. What it really accomplishes is just another showcase for the charm of the Tom Hanks “character” and the hope that can be enough to counter the questionable situations and weak script.

Hanks is the title character Larry Crowne, an ex-Navy cook who currently works as a floor representative at a Wal-mart type megastore. Although he has won eight employee-of-the-month awards, he is unceremoniously fired for apparently not having a university degree. Faced with a house worth less than what is owed on it and no prospects, Larry decides to register at his local community college.

Trading in his SUV for a gas sipping scooter, Larry fits in almost immediately by meeting Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who invites him into a scooter “gang” at the school. Larry also signs up for a Public Speaking class, run by the burned-out Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts), and a first level economics class run by Dr. Matsutani (George Takei).

It becomes obvious that Larry is taking a shine to the lovely Mrs. Tainot, who is on her last days with husband Dean (Bryan Cranston). He is also helped out by his neighbor Lamar (Cedric the Entertainer) and new group of college friends, even reliving his Navy days by becoming a part-time cook at a popular diner. It’s a new life and a new way for Larry Crowne.

”Larry Crowne” opens everywhere on July 1st. Featuring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Cedric the Entertainer, Rita Wilson, Pam Grier, Bryan Cranston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and George Takei. Screenplay by Tom Hanks and Nia Vardalos, directed by Tom Hanks. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Larry Crowne”

To Her With Love: Julia Roberts (Mrs. Taino) and Tom Hanks as the Title Character ‘Larry Crowne’
To Her With Love: Julia Roberts (Mrs. Tainot) and Tom Hanks as the Title Character ‘Larry Crowne’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Larry Crowne”

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