Making its debut this weekend on HBO was last year’s “Larry Crowne”, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Directed by Hanks himself, “Larry Crowne” is the story of a middle aged man – Larry Crowne – who loses his mid level job at a retail store due to his lack of education.
Unable to find subsequent employment, Larry enrolls in Community College.
What he doesn’t bargain on is the profound, romantic, humorous, heartwarming change that will occur in his life due to – - Aghgh, God. I can’t even write a summary sentence about this nauseating nonsense without feeling ill.
Click through to read why you should stay away from this awful offering of offal.
Hanks plays an overly enthusiastic, socially inept, moped riding man-child who’s never been to college, but from watching this movie you’d think he’d never had a drink, been with a woman or seen an R rated movie. Julia Roberts plays a burnt out, alcoholic teacher stuck in a bad marriage. She doesn’t hesitate to demonstrate her bitterness in front of her students, either – her classes are practically an exercise in withstanding resentment. Somehow, of course, through the magic of formulaic movies, these two wind up falling for each other and changing each other’s lives for the better.
What doesn’t change is Crowne’s employment prospects. Don’t want to hand out spoilers or anything, but Crowne’s two Community College classes don’t qualify him for any new jobs.
When it isn’t busy being pointless or terribly unfunny, “Larry Crowne” spends its time reveling in trite cliches, stereotypical characters, and a completely unearned romance. It’s filled with poorly written dialogue and god-awful characters. There wasn’t a single laugh to be found, except from George Takei, and ironically he was playing a character who was funny because he’s so unfunny.
Hanks’ skills as a writer/director here remind us why he’s considered one of the best actors of our time. This had the smell of a vanity project all over it. I was only a quarter of the way through when I was thinking, “He had to have to written this too, right? No one options a piece of shit like this…” Sure enough, he did. It was a collaborative effort with Nia Vardalos of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” fame, but nonetheless it was his script. Unfortunately, he was also wearing the director’s hat, so there was no one to rewrite his sloppy work during shooting.
“Crowne” is a feel good movie that actually feels terrible. It’s not funny, it’s not romantic, but it may very well warm your heart.
By giving you heartburn.
F, and I’m docking half a letter grade from the next Tom Hanks movie I review.