Movie Review: Larry Crowne

I see a lot of movies. And I have a lot of opinions. So the logical conclusion to these two statements is that I write reviews. Actually Allie is a really great place to showcase these reviews, so here goes!

She's drunk in this picture. Thought you ought to know.

Last week my friend Sia and I walked into the movie theater and picked a movie. Let me make this clear: I am not usually this spontaneous with movies. I’m actually a movie snob. But we traveled to the theater on a whim after the gym across the street rejected Sia because she didn’t have her ID with her. We had no choice.

The only movie playing remotely close to the time we were there was Larry Crowne. I knew it sounded familiar – I’d definitely seen the trailer before – but I had no idea what it was about. I just couldn’t remember. This is how bland the movie was. 

It was a Tuesday night, but other people still made their way into the theater. Sia and I were the only people under 40 in the theater, hiding in the back row in our gym clothes. This is how outdated the movie was. 

The movie began, and we started to get an idea of what it would be like: It was a Tom Hanks film, directing and starring. Sia started complaining immediately, but I told her to give it a chance. After all, Tom Hanks was in The Green Mile. However, the screen then panned to smiling customers and overenthusiastic employees at a store called “UMart.” This is how kitschy the movie was.

Time for a quick summary: Tom Hanks stars as Larry Crowne, a divorcee who has been employee of the month at UMart for the last decade or so. Tom Hanks is let go from his job because he never went to college. Tom Hanks enrolls in Community College and takes three courses: Speech (taught by Professor Mercedes Tainot or Julia Roberts), Economics (taught by strict Dr. Matsutani or stereotypical intelligent Asian professor), and Composition (teacher unknown, as class was never filmed although the Dean made a point to sign him up for these three courses). Tom Hanks rides a scooter to school, and an overly peppy college girl named Talia invites him to join her scooter gang, even though he is 30 years her senior. Spoiler alert: Professor Tainot and Larry Crowne end up together in the end by some fluke of nature that has no basis on plot whatsoever.

As you can see from the summary above, the plot for the movie is bland, bland, bland. The only reason why this movie was able to reach the big screens is because of two big names: Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. While Larry Crowne is the god-moded character – the perfect, overachieving, kind character who has no faults whatsoever –  Professor Tainot is anything but. Julia Roberts is depicted as someone who doesn’t care about her job, an alcoholic, and a nasty teacher who can’t find anything good in her students. She is bitter, which makes viewers hate her.

Spoiler Alert: She gets drunk one night, sitting alone on the streets. I didn’t want to have to mention her porn-loving husband, but after a comment he makes about how he likes other women’s boobs more than hers (completely out of character for this kind of movie, I know!), Mercedes walks out of the car. Larry just happens to be driving by with his scooter gang, and offers her a ride home. He drives her home and they kiss, even though she is so so so so drunk. He dances on her porch (cheesy) while she looks through the door peephole (also cheesy), and somehow they’re made for each other.

I think the only redeeming quality about this movie were the college characters. One student, who looks like Bruno Mars, constantly texts and flirts with Professor Tainot, a cause for a laugh. Another student makes a speech about the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars. Another is a lacrosse fanatic who can’t wait to share all of her sports tips with the others. It’s a mixed bag of students, and that’s how it is in real life. Maybe it’s just because I’m in college, but I have to say, I liked the students more than the adults.

Overall, I would say this movie was two-dimensional, the plot unbelievable and implausible. If you want to go to the movies to fall asleep in one of those comfy chairs, go see this movie.

Larry Crowne’s  Grade: D+



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