Larry Crowne (2011)
Directed by Tom Hanks
Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts
Larry Crowne has a good set-up for a romantic comedy: a hard-working, middle-aged man gets laid off even though he’s arguably the best employee and must go to community college to get his degree. Think of this as Community if Jeff Winger was older and not a jerk. Tom Hanks stars as Larry Crowne and after being laid off, times are so hard on him he has to drive a Vespa. But don’t worry, there’s a cool Vespa gang at community college!
That’s what you can expect during Larry Crowne. This is a film that is awfully light-hearted and there is never really any doubt that Larry Crowne will find success. He meets new friends instantly, he’s offered a new job that he enjoys and he catches the eye of the public speaking teacher, Mrs. Tainot (Roberts). You already know how it’s going to end before it starts, but I guess that’s the case for most romantic comedies.
Julia Roberts is the most interesting and realistic character in the film. She’s unhappily married (to Bryan Cranston, a man who is excellent in any role given to him), drinks a lot and doesn’t seem to care about anything. She even gives Larry Crowne the stink-eye at first but falls for his charm and kindness.
There’s nothing special about this film and if you’ve watched a romantic comedy before, then you certainly don’t need to watch this one. Tom Hanks, in his prime, starred in far superior rom-coms than this, but there is an audience for Larry Crowne. It’s safe, predictable, and will put a smile on your face. It’s a film that people can enjoy to watch without any worry about straining their minds. There is nothing wrong with a movie like this, I just wish it was more involved.