Sunday, April 26, 2015

(Spoilers) Larry Crowne Review

***SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers may be found in the post below about VARIOUS ITEMS. And I'm going to add in a bit of filler text here to limit how much of the main article gets shown in a preview. That should take care of most of it. Hopefully. And away we go. SPOILER WARNING. ***

I thought this was The Thomas Crown Affair with Pierce Brosnan when I saw the title. Then Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks showed up. Oh, it's Larry, not Thomas. The word "Crown" isn't used that often in titles?

Larry (Tom Hanks), a former navy sailor, just got laid off from his job and he's changing his life up. One of these changes is going to college. Sort of a romantic comedy.

Good or Bad?
I vaguely heard of this movie when it hit the theatres but knew virtually nothing about it. Nothing else was on TV, so I gave Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts a shot -- I'd watch the former read a phone book and have enjoyed a few of the latter's movies more than a bit. To be perfectly honest, Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts was very recently on at the time and I watched it, so I was on a sort of Julia Roberts movie binge.

Larry Crowne is about a single, middle-aged guy who just got laid off and enrolls in college. I don't remember any mention of a wife or kids, not entirely sure. Anyway, he meets some younger friends and a professor, Mrs. Tainot (Julia Roberts), in his public speaking class -- her marriage sucks.

It had a bit of a Napoleon Dynamite feel to it for me due to the tone and atmosphere. The romance part of the movie also didn't seem to have a huge weight to it. Don't get me wrong, it was a major component of the story, but the movie didn't look like it was centered around getting the girl or finding a relationship. Most of Larry Crowne felt like it was about Larry becoming a more chill guy and finding some more direction in his life -- looked like he already was pretty chill but a bit on autopilot.

Samantha (Sarah Mahoney) was Larry's closest, younger friend who gave him a lot of lifestyle and style advice. Their father-daughter type relationship was interesting and they worked well together on-screen. Julia Roberts had a major role with a number of independent scenes without Larry -- I think she was the second point of focus in the movie. Her interactions with her husband, played by Bryan Cranston, were excellent and among my favorite comedic bits. Speaking of the cast, George Takei had a relatively small role in it as an economics professor. Pretty good cast in starring and supporting roles.

I found Larry Crowne to be an entertaining movie that wasn't very serious, sad, or overly comedic. Nothing provided any shock value to me, and there was a bit of a  muted tone -- I heard a few f-bombs but not in excess. It was just laid back fun. The performances were good and the cast looked like they were having fun. And a bright, summer, suburban, sunny, California-like color palette was used. I enjoyed the movie and didn't mind watching it two or three times over the past year. Would I have had as much fun without Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts? Probably not, but we're in luck because they were in it.

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