Friday, December 16, 2011

Larry Crowne

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Larry Crowne - 2 out of 5

Larry Crowne is about a man named...wait for it...Thomas McCarthy--I lied, his name is Larry Crowne.  Well, good old Larry works at a big box store and he loves his job and you can tell from the opening credits as you see him at work, doing his work things with a big smile on his face.  When the credits end, Larry is called to meet with the management (and it was nice of them to wait for the credits to stop).  He believes he's making it to Employee of the Month (again) but it turns out, they're letting Larry go because Larry never went to college and without a college degree, there is no way Larry can advance any further in the company.  So, without a job and no prospects in a crummy economy, Larry goes back to college.

Oh, Tom Hanks...America loves you.  Run for President.

Sounds like fun, eh?  If this was just the premise, it could have but instead, the movie ends up becoming a muddy mess of confusion as it decides to do without the "fish out of water" angle of an older man in college (and if you've gone to college, this really isn't that out of the ordinary) and decides to be a romantic comedy.  And then it decides to return to the old man trying new things bit...and then back to the romantic comedy, then it returns to the old dog learning new tricks before once again returning to a half-ass attempt at a romantic comedy.

Wilmer Valderrama was in this?  I thought he gave up acting to be a full-time douche bag.


This movie needed more Takei.
I really wanted to like this film because of Tom Hanks not only playing the role of Larry but he also co-wrote and directed it.  Let's face it, Hanks is a national treasure and it was disappointing to see the mess this film was.  But, I don't want to sound too harsh because there are some great points to the film.  Mainly, Hanks is fantastic as Larry and there are some very amusing moments--especially from a Mr. George Takei (Oh my!).  His character was great and, sadly, there wasn't enough of him.  Cedric the Entertainer and Bryan Cranston also have some great, amusing moments that help drive the story and keeps the film chugging along.  There's also a great relationship between Larry and his younger friend Talia.  This friendship was interesting and could have made the entire film as she shows the older man how to find himself when he feels like he's lost it all.  If only they hadn't put on the needless love angle that Larry has with his married teacher...and if only that teacher wasn't Julia Roberts.

Well Bryan, this movie was disappointing.  I guess it's back to kicking ass and cooking meth in Breaking Bad.


Try and ignore the clown behind Cedric.  Now you
can't take your eyes off it can you?
I realize the internet and every media outlet tells me that she is incredibly beautiful and talented and that we should all love her but I cannot stand Julia Roberts.  I don't think she's beautiful and as far as talent, I've never actually seen her do a role in her life.  I've only seen her do what many other A-list actors do: Be themselves.  Tom Cruise is always Tom Cruise (well, maybe not in Tropic Thunder), John Travolta is always John Travolta, Shia LaBeouf is always a stuttering monkey and Julia Roberts, no matter the role, always comes off as Julia Roberts.  In this one, she tried to be the cliche jaded teacher who has come to hate her students before even meeting them and then, as if to make her a bigger cliche in the romantic comedy world, they decide to put her in a loveless marriage--all this, to justify her alcohol abuse.  Her character flirts on the edge of an extramarital affair, is rude to her students to the point she is a terrible teacher and is a boozer--I ask the question then:  Why is Larry Crowne attracted to her?  She has no redeeming qualities until she has her epiphany that turns her character around but before this happens, Larry is crazy about her.  Am I suppose to believe it all boils down to physical attraction?  Maybe it's just my own bias because I don't find Roberts attractive (hell, her brother Eric is better looking than her in my eyes) and can't understand what Larry sees in her.


I don't see it.

Larry Crowne really had the promise of being a sweet, charming film with Tom Hanks at the lead but because the film couldn't quite figure out what it wanted to be or couldn't quite get the balance to handle both elements of the story, it was hard to enjoy this film.  It wasn't completely terrible as it does offer some mild entertainment but the fact it could have been so much more prevents it from being even middle of the road, in my view.

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