Wednesday, 13 July 2011

REVIEW: Larry Crowne

Tom Hanks will kill all you motherfuckers, Hanx.

Larry Crowne simply wouldn't be here without Tom Hanks. It's the kind of film that only a man with two Oscars, infinite amounts of movie star credibility and who is literally disliked by no-one on earth can get into the cinemas. Not because it's awful necessarily, but because it's so biologically forgettable and so thoroughly unremarkable almost to the core, that without Hanks at the helm and a hefty assist from Julia Roberts this thing re-appears as a pilot on ABC Family in about 5 years. I like Tom Hanks. I like him a lot, but this movie is so utterly inoffensive that its most passionate supporter will only think its kind of OK.

The story, which follows Hanks as a superstore worker who upon being laid off, attends a community college and finds a new way of life/friendship group/love etc. It's set in the kind of world where everything is strictly karmic and Oprah-ish, and being a good person guarantees things will work out in the end, as long as you work for it. Everyone goes out of their way to help Larry, from a motorcycle gang to wealthy neighbors/black stereotypes (played by Cedric The Entertainer and Oscar nominee who has no career because she's black Taraji P. Henson) to the most obnoxious, irritating manic-pixie dream girl platonic friend of Hanks, played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Everyone in this universe gets what they deserve, and no-one's really a dick apart from Bryan Cranston, Robert's interim husband, who plays a character that's simultaneously the most interesting character in the film and the worst thing about the film. Playing a fallen academic/author, who is now unemployed and looking at porn all day. Why? Who cares, this movie is not interested in complexity. It's just interested in making Cranston's character into a hissable villain that we can't wait for Julia to get rid off. A truly epic fail of a character.

Now as far as positives go, Hanks can't not be likable. Its just who he is and what he does, and he gives the title character more then one moment of winning relatability. But actually I think my favorite thing about this film was Julia Roberts. While the romance itself is rushed, awkward and lame. Roberts playing the extremely bitchy, self-loathing teacher of the first act is something I found to be entertaining, as Roberts always seems to work more for me when she plays a bitch. I have no idea why, perhaps because she's got that I'm better then everyone demeanor down to a tee. Who knows, but I enjoyed her in this movie. Also Wilmer Valderrama is alive. And in Larry Crowne. Yay. I think I am more likely to forget everything about Larry Crowne more than any other film I've ever reviewed on here, simply because its so perfectly mediocre.

Rating: 5/10

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