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    Blog: Film Review – Larry Crowne

    My thoughts on Larry Crowne:

    “Larry Crowne” contains superstar vehicles Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, but not much else. The premise is one which seems constantly played out, similar to a hit radio station and its top 40 ingredients.

    The screenplay is topical: ordinary, relatable folks taking curveballs, learning about themselves, falling in love and influencing the change of someone else’s life. Written by Hanks and alongside his longtime friend Nia Vardalos, (you’re not quite sure where you’ve seen this woman, but you probably weren’t happy when you did)  it contains nothing new to the average movie viewer.

    The opening of the film constitutes for main character Larry Crowne receiving a curveball to the face when he arrives at his Walmart-equivalent job to find himself laid off due to his lack of education for a management position. This is despite the receipt of numerous employee of the month awards. Jobless and confidence-less, Crowne decides to take classes at a community college where he meets a gang of free-spirited scooter pals and grows attached to his new life/experiences.

    With this newly gained confidence, Crowne becomes secure with himself while learning about himself in the process. He utilizes this fresh momentum to influence a change in his stern, yet helpless alcoholic professor Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts). Oh yeah, they end up falling in love. Surprised?

    The film is Hanks’ first shot at directing. Overall he does a good job — but nothing beyond the stretch. (If you are unfamiliar with that term, that makes two of us). So I reacted like I would typically to a superstar’s first film — it met my expectations.

    The film starts off slow, directing-wise. Shots seem amateurishly delayed with dialogue, and the overall timing (comedic or not) just doesn’t seem right. Shots and montages are very typical, until Julia Roberts arrives 20 minutes in and her sheer presence seems to overshadow any aesthetic shortcomings. For those of you who don’t know, (maybe because you haven’t escaped from beneath your rock) Julia Roberts is a beautiful, intelligent and extraordinary actress. Her warm style complements Hanks’ uncomfortableness with his own role. Perhaps the storyline is a little weak for his prestige.

    But the storyline is just that — a storyline. See the movie if you’re a Julia or Hanks fan. It won’t blow your mind. The only thing that can compete with the idea of your mind being blown is the wonderful complexion of Julia Roberts’ 43-year-old face.

    As a side note, a notable figure also making an appearance in the film is Wilmer Valderrama. You know, that guy who played Fez in that show about the 70’s. What did they call it?


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