Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Larry Crowne (2011)

Larry Crowne (2011)
Rated PG-13
Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Cedric The Entertainer, Taraji P. Henson, Pam Grier, Wilmer Valderrama, George Takei, Bryan Cranston
Directed by: Tom Hanks
Running time: 98 Minutes

Quick Summary: After being laid off from his job at a retail store for having no possibility for career advancement since he never went to college, Larry Crowne decides to enroll in community college so that can never happen again.

After the sheer sadness and lack of quality Tom Hanks from Extremely Loud & Incredible Close, I decided I wanted some lighter, more Tom Hanks-ian movie. Rather than digging out Big on Netflix, I opted for the recently released (in 2011) Larry Crowne. Written by, starring and directed by Hanks, I figured this would be the best opportunity for me to see if he still had it. It being that awesome sheepishness and comedy he had in the mid to late 80’s to early 90’s (basically everything up until Philadelphia, when he got super serious as an actor).

To answer that question: probably. Somewhere inside Hanks exists that same dude from the 80’s who made me laugh, and glimpses showed at times during this movie, but overall, it was just a fantastically mediocre movie. There were a few parts that might have made me laugh if I were 48 rather than 28, but for the most part, I was mildly entertained at best.
With a cast including Julia Roberts, Cedric the Entertainer, Taraji P. Henson, Pam Grier, Bryan Cranston, George Takei and Wilmer Valderrama, I was expecting to be more entertained. Of the people I just listed, only Bryan Cranston and George Takei would really draw my interest. If he had been my Economics professor in college, as he was in this movie, I still probably wouldn’t have done very well because I am awful with math, but at least I’d have been entertained.

I got the feeling that everyone involved just wanted to work with Tom Hanks really badly, and didn’t really bother to read the script and realize it’s just a movie about a regular middle-aged guy going back to college. Maybe movie stars DO want to portray such incredibly mundane people, since their lives are nothing like that, but probably not. It was probably just for a paycheck and to work for/with Hanks and with Julia Roberts.

It’s been two days since I finished the movie, and I can remember very little about it, other than how mundane it was. That’s not really a good feeling to get from watching a movie. Usually, you want your movie to be memorable, to feel necessary, and this was just completely forgettable. And I am sorry that it was, because I wanted it to be better.

2 out of 5 stars 

Worse than Avatar 


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