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Larry Crowne

Larry Crowne: Big Stars in Predictable yet Charming Comedy

  • Julia RobertsTom Hanks
  • ComedyDrama...
  • Tom Hanks
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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Larry Crowne: Big Stars in Predictable yet Charming Comedy

When
Larry Crowne (Hanks), a very successful salesman, suddenly finds himself jobless,
he decides to enrol in a local community college. Looking forward to starting
from scratch, Crowne quickly blends in with the crowd and easily makes friends.
He also finds himself attracted to his professor Mercedes
Tainot (Roberts), who is in a stale and loveless marriage with her husband
(Cranston), a former respected author turned deadbeat who spends his days
surfing the web for porn. Crowne and Tainot become close, as they both open up new worlds for each other,

Even a predictable plot can be quite appealing if complemented with an interesting cast
and crew, and this is pretty much the case with Larry
Crowne
; where the leads are both Hollywood legends. In fact, Hanks not only stars in this film; but he also directed, co-wrote and co-produced it. The only problem with
such a scenario is that Hanks and Roberts often rely on their star factor,
maybe even a little too much at times; meaning that they could have definitely
put more spark into their roles.

Having
starred in 2007’s Charlie Wilson’s War together, the Hanks-Roberts duo will probably
have some audiences expecting a combination of You’ve Got Mail and Notting Hill. What we get isn’t exactly that, but it’s close. The same subtle charm and
humour drive the chemistry between the leads. It’s a classic story of the unassuming,
down-on-his-luck knight riding in and saving the stoic, intellectual damsel in
distress.

The
supporting cast is strong with the likes of Cedric the Entertainer, who strengthens
the film’s comic credentials, while Taraji P. Henson and Bryan Cranston also
shine. By far, it is Cranston who steals the show as Roberts’ once-great
husband in his brief scenes. Even with no offering of his usual over-the-top, animated humour as the father in Malcolm in the
Middle
, he still retains great comic timing. Other notable appearances include that of blaxploitation star Pam Grier, George Takei of the original Star Trek series and Wilmer Valderrama of That 70’s Show.

Larry Crowne is quite generic,
and will probably be doomed to being a 2AM filler on TV in a couple of years.
Despite this, it’s actually quite entertaining and fun to watch, and
cynics of the rom-com genre should put their egos aside; definitely worthy of your attention and time if you enjoy light
romantic comedies. 

Like This? Try

You've Got Mail, Notting Hill, Pretty Woman

360 Tip

This project started its assemblage in 2006 under the name Talk of the Town. As Hanks' second outing as a director, its release comes fifteen years after his first directorial venture with That Thing You Do (1996).

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