Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Larry Crowne Review

Tom Hanks is the star and director of his new film, Larry Crowne. Even though Tom Hanks is the director and the star of this project, it's very much an ensemble comedy, with a great supporting cast including Julia Roberts, Rob Riggle, Rita Wilson, Cedric the Entertainer, Taraji P. Henson, Wilmer Valderrama, Pam Grier, George Takei, and Bryan Cranston. As much as I have enjoyed summer movies like Green Lantern and Cars 2, it was a nice break to rest and relax with Larry Crowne: an easy-going, fun, and light movie.  It does exactly what it's supposed to do with its cast, premise, and plot.

Tom Hanks plays Larry Crowne, a middle-aged man working in retail that is one day fired because of his lack of college education. This prompts him to go to community college for the first time. At first, it's quite daunting for him as he's completely unprepared for the experience. He does befriend a biker gang, led by Wilmer Valderrama. They take him under their wing and teach him to dress cool and act cool. His teacher in speech class is Julia Roberts, a hardened drunk that is suffering through a horrible marriage with the porn-addicted Bryan Cranston. His economics teacher is played by George Takei in a very funny turn.

Larry Crowne becomes especially close to the Julia Roberts character, as they are both going through a mid-life crisis. They realize that sometimes change is a good thing, even if it's painful in the meantime. The supporting cast also keeps it entertaining, especially Cedric the Entertainer, as Larry's hard bargaining neighbor. He will argue over a penny at his yard sales. Everyone really works together nicely in this cast, and they all play off of each other beautifully. Nothing here is groundbreaking or all that unique, but it goes down easily on a hot summer night. It's nice to just watch a movie with good actors and to watch them act.

Larry Crowne, as I mentioned above, is a simple movie, and I don't mean that as an insult. It's an adult comedy about adult situations, such as losing your job, divorce, and money. When you have good actors in a movie, most of the time, it's going to be an enjoyable experience on the big screen. This is a nice movie and nice is not a bad thing. When it was all said and done, I felt good after Larry Crowne.  Sometimes it's nice to feel good after a movie is over with. Larry Crowne is one of the feel good movies this summer. If you are looking for something as an alternative to big screen popcorn movies, Larry Crowne is a great start.

Grade: B

How should you see it: Either on the big screen or as a rental

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