Cert: 12 A Runtime: 99 mins Director: Tom Hanks Cast: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Roxana Ortega, Wilmer Valderrama, Cedric the Entertainer and George Takei
A man with a scooter can accomplish anything
It’s rather rare to see Tom Hanks in films these days, he is more behind the scenes. When the trailer for Larry Crowne came out I was intrigued to see what Hanks had written and also directed. Until he was downsized, affable, amiable Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) was a superstar team leader at the big-box company where he’s worked since his time in the Navy. Underwater on his mortgage and unclear on what to do with his suddenly free days, Larry heads to his local college to start over. There he becomes part of a colorful community of outcasts, also-rans and the overlooked all trying to find a better future for themselves…often moving around town in a herd of scooters. In his public-speaking class, Larry develops an unexpected crush on his teacher Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts), who has lost as much passion for teaching as she has for her husband. The simple guy who has every reason to think his life has stalled will come to learn an unexpected lesson: when you think everything worth having has passed you by, you just might discover your reason to live.
Going into the cinema, I was expecting an average romantic comedy, and honestly I wasn’t too excited to see it. Walking out of the movie, on the other hand, I could not say anything except “Wow, that was so unexpectedly good.” Unlike most movies, they did not use up their only good jokes in the commercials and previews for it, they continuously were making jokes that fit well into the plot. They did not appear to try too hard to make you laugh, they didn’t do anything over the top, and maybe that’s why it was good, because it was just pure and simple. More and more recognizable faces showed up and all of those characters were useful in the progression of the plot and in the comedy area. The writers did a great job of not over-doing the jokes but still making you laugh throughout the whole movie. Tom Hanks did a good job acting and directing and was very good, there is just something about Tom Hanks that makes you connect with Larry Crowne. That is what made the film for me.The last time I saw Julia Roberts as a teacher was in Mona Lisa Smile. Her teaching here is more low keyed, but from her performance, I think acting as a teacher is her forte. Tom Hanks and her are perfect together.Besides Hanks and Roberts, the supporting cast was very good. George Takei was very funny as the economics teacher, as was Cedric the Entertainer as the neighbor having the perpetual garage sale. The students at the college were all very good and believable. This is a Nice Little Film. At the cinema it was clearly the favorite of the over-forty crowd, with the exception of me and my better half. There’s not a lot of meat to it and the major plot turns are easy to spot and not surprising. If you like Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, you’ll like this film. Hanxs (Twitter thing)