Movie Review: Larry Crowne (2011)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Directed by: Tom Hanks

Larry Crowne finds himself unemployed and facing huge financial difficulties. He decides to go to a community college in the hope that it’ll boost his career opportunities having just been fired from a retail store and it’s in college where he unexpectedly finds love and friendship.

My first memory of Tom Hanks was when I saw Big when I was a kid and just that movie alone made me a fan and everything I’ve seen him in since just makes me love the guys work more and more. Over the years he’s starred in some of my favourite films such as Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile, Catch Me If You Can and more recently Captain Phillips. I’ve just had a quick scan through his IMDb filmography and there aren’t too many movies of his that I haven’t seen and most of those are his older eighties stuff. I truly consider him to be one of greatest actors of all time which is truly subjective and some may agree while others perhaps will disagree but for me he’s truly sensational. I stumble across Larry Crowne on Netflix and it was one of only a few more recent Tom Hanks movies that I hadn’t seen so it was a no brainer to watch it and the fact that he was joined on screen by Julia Roberts was just a bonus.

Moving away from Tom Hanks for a moment and onto Larry Crowne and it was a good movie that didn’t really have much going on in terms of exciting plot developments and the humour was quite mild at best but Larry Crowne was a great feel good film that highlighted the best in people when faced with a difficult crossroad in life. Tom Hanks as the title character was wonderfully charming and sweet and I really enjoyed watching his character develop and flourish as the movie progresses. The story was quite predictable but the kind nature of the characters and the heart warming story of triumph made this film so enjoyable to just sit down and take in, I was really impressed with how each of the smaller characters were written and how integral they were in Larry Crowne’s development.

As you’d expect Tom Hanks and co-star Julia Roberts were splendid in their roles and shared some very good chemistry together but they were also helped out a lot with wonderful performances from the supporting cast. Actors such as Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bryan Cranston, Cedric the Entertainer, Wilmer Valderrama and George Takei all came together and despite the size of their role were pivotal in the progression in both character and story which felt very natural and organic. George Takei was especially great as he played Crowne’s economics professor and was the perfect combination of weird and comical.

Overall, Larry Crowne was a very nice little movie that allows you to immerse yourself into the pleasant nature of the story and the characters. Predictability is a slight downfall but quite easy to look beyond although I would’ve liked a little extra comedy.

7/10

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