I expected to see a great movie since the film Larry Crowne has a super star cast with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Also, Tom Hanks directed and co-wrote the story; it seemed to have the makings of a promising evening’s entertainment.
Larry Crowne was a great disappointment. First, I am sorry to say that both Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts are showing their age and neither one seemed to be well cast in light of the plot of the story.
Larry Crowne, played of course by Tom Hanks, lost his job since his superiors felt that his lack of a college education prevented him from advancing in the company. Although Larry spent many years in the navy and did see the world, this experience apparently did not impress the management team. Larry’s glib use of the English language, however, would lead one to believe he was highly educated. This is a flaw in Tom Hanks’ script-writing technique; he should have downplayed Larry Crowne’s high-toned manner of speaking.
When Larry enrolled in the local college, he was encouraged by the Dean to take a Speech course. It would change his life, the Dean told him. He also chose an Economics class which eventually helped him to dispose of his house in a more financially successful way.
Julia Roberts is Larry’s Speech teacher; her name is Mercedes Tainot. She appears to be disenchanted and bored with her class of ten misfits. We learn that she is also disenchanged with her husband who stays at home each day supposedly being a writer.
While getting gas at a station for his gas guzzler car, Larry noticed that a patron on a scooter put less than $4 into his tank whereas Larry had just filled his tank for $75. In the interest of economy, he bought himself a scooter from his neighbor Lamar (Cedric the Entertainer) who successfully runs a permanent garage sale on his front lawn. This purchase of a scooter is instrumental in Larry’s becoming acquainted with his classmates who all drive scooters to class and have formed a club of scooter owners.
It is almost embarrassing to think that Tom Hanks went to the trouble of putting this story on film. It did not get a lot of publicity and it is doubtful that it did well at the box office. I’m sure Tom Hanks did not expect Larry Crowne to reach the heights of his films Forrest Gump or Philadelphia, both of which earned him an Academy Award. What was he thinking?
If you want to observe two great actors trying to salvage a poorly written script, it might be worth your while to view the movie Larry Crowne. It will provide you with a yardstick for gauging what exactly makes the difference between a great movie and a highly flawed one.
Movie – Larry Crowne (2011)