Now Showing on Cable: “Larry Crowne”

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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.

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18 thoughts on “Now Showing on Cable: “Larry Crowne”

    • Well, I have some community college in my history myself, so maybe that stuck out to me. LOL.

      Terrible movie, wasn’t it? Yup. Just checked out your review, agree with you 100%. Yours made me wish I had kicked the supporting characters around more. They were horrifying too. Especially, as you said, “Toaster Waffle Guy”. Or “Tough but Fair” grill cook! LOL

      So wretched.

    • I’ve given others but its been awhile.

      I try to reserve it for REALLY bad movies just for this reason.

      And yes, this movie sucked ass. Except for the end credits, which were so goofily ridiculous that they reach a level of unintentional comedy rarely seen on earth. I tried to youtube them, but theyre not out there. I highly recommend anyone DVR the movie just to watch the credits roll and see Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts happy scooter ride.

  1. So, what I’m getting here is that you didn’t like it, huh? :P

    Yeah… I haven’t seen this, but I was paying a lot of attention to the reviews for it when it came out, and it was getting dinged left and right from critics. It’s disappointing… I’ve been saying for years that although I appreciate dramatic Tom Hanks, I wanted to see a return of comedic Tom Hanks, to see what he could do now that he had developed more as an actor. And he gives us this. Bleah. Very disappointing.

    • Seriously? Tom Hanks the writer and Tom Hanks the director each did such a terrible job that Tom Hanks the comedic actor is completely absolved here. The acting is the least of this movies issues, even though there isnt a single decent performance to be found…

  2. LOL yea I heard this was pretty terrible so I’ve stayed away ever since it got released. It’s too bad because I like Tom Hanks and seeing him reunite with Julia Roberts could have been fun. But not in this…

  3. I didn’t hate this but I definitely think that it’s writing was a lot more lazy than it should have been. Hanks is about 55 now and I think he has to accept that he’s getting older and older, so maybe he could stop acting like a little child still. However, it’s still a pleasant watch. Nice stuff here my man.

    • Lazy is a good word for the writing. LOL. A polite word for it, but a good one.

      Good comment on Hanks needing his characters to grow up. Its hard because we’ve come to love him as a man-child in so many of his roles.

  4. So basically, Pierce Brosnan’s Thomas Crowne is like Tom Cruise in Rain Main in that Larry Crowne is like Dustin Hoffman except You’ve Got Mail without the Qantas.

    That about got it?

  5. This reminds me of a much better film starring Hanks and Roberts which I just saw part of recently, Charlie Wilson’s War – excellent. PSHoffman was great in ….War too.

    Crowne will be a pass for now based on your review (and others); so sad with the talent in that film. Thanks for keepin’ it real on review.

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