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Larry Crowne (2011)

Reel reviews for real people

Plot: Until he was downsized, affable, amiable Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) was a superstar team leader at the big-box company where he’s worked since his time in the Navy. Underwater on his mortgage and unclear on what to do with his suddenly free days, Larry heads to his local college to start over. There he becomes part of a colorful community of outcasts, also-rans and the overlooked all trying to find a better future for themselves…often moving around town in a herd of scooters. In his public-speaking class, Larry develops an unexpected crush on his teacher Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts), who has lost as much passion for teaching as she has for her husband. — (C) Universal Pictures

Rating: PG – 13 (for brief strong language and some sexual content)

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Cedric the Entertainer, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Taraji P. Henson, Byran Cranston, Wilmer Valderrama

Director: Tom Hanks

Running time: 1:38

Kate says –  3 stars “In this summer full of loud, fast-paced, action-filled, 3-D, special effect laden movies, it’s nice to be able to go to a movie to relax, be entertained and leave feeling  peaceful and happy. ‘Larry Crowne’ is a calm, gentle movie, which relies completely on the charm, talents and likeability of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. It’s a rather harsh world we live in these days, and Hanks provides us with an escape from the sometimes depressing realities of life by focusing on a story with goodness and optimism. This movie feels like a throwback to another era, when Capra was king with his wholesome, feel-good movies which showed the value of unselfishness and hard work. Some may think this movie is too sappy and sugary sweet, but I say it’s just what the doctor ordered.”

Richard Roeper says – ‘A-‘ “Corny beyond belief, but a welcome relief from the summer noise. Hanks is at his everyman best…A thoroughly enjoyable summer romance.” (watch full review)

Box Office Magazine (Pete Hammond) says – 3 1/3 out of 5 stars – “This charmer about late middle-aged renaissance is pertinent for these times and a perfect summer comedy for grown-ups looking to escape robots and superheroes. Flashing their superstar wattage, Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks (who also co-wrote and directed) make a dream team and should prove a slow but steady draw despite the monster competition.” (read full review)

New York Post (Lou Lumenick) says – 3 stars “It’s been quite a few years since we’ve seen a vehicle for a pair of Oscar winners — Hollywood prom king and queen Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts — as disarmingly modest as “Larry Crowne,” a romantic comedy about a newly downsized cook and the unhappily married community college teacher who changes his life. “Larry Crowne” isn’t for anyone looking for edgy entertainment…But if you’re looking for a movie you can take your parents or young children to without fear of embarrassment or the need for endless explanations, this is the one.” (read full review)

Chicago Tribune (Michael Phillips) says – 1 star “The best romantic comedies have a blithe, take-it-or-leave-it spirit. “Larry Crowne” has the opposite. It’s the neediest movie of 2011, and one of the phoniest.

Ebert says – 2 stars “Larry Crowne” has Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts and a good premise and a colorful supporting cast, but what it doesn’t have is a reason for existing. The screenplay carries blandness to a point beyond tedium. At some point the sinking realization sets in that Larry Crowne was born a nice guy, will always be a nice guy, will find few bumps in his road and is destined for a happy ending. We watch not in suspense but in envy.” (read full review)


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