Sunday, June 17, 2012
Movie Review: Larry Crown
I hated to believe it. I mean Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, people! They can pick their projects and tend not to pick lemon projects. So I eventually rented it from Netflix (by the way, don't you think Netflix should give me a free subscription for all my plugging?? I do).
Larry Crown is a divorced man, working at a big box store. It's his life and he takes pride in it (winning employee of the month 9 times). Due to corporate B.S., Larry is fired for not having a college education. Enter community college classes, a new friend who is in a "biker gang" who gives him a new fashion look (Gugu Mbatha-Raw of the television series Touch) and Julia Roberts his new speech instructor.
Roberts is a burned out teacher who hates that apathy she sees in her students, her dwindling class sizes and responds by becoming even more apathetic than her students. She drinks too much and is in an unhappy marriage. George Takei (Sulu of Star Trek), plays and over the top, bizarrely strange economics instructor.
Larry Crown takes his school experience seriously and puts all of the information he learns in speech and economics to immediate use in his life. As he takes it seriously, slowly so do the students and instructors. And yes, a budding romance begins to develop between "Larry" and "Mercy". Transformation is had by all and all live happily ever after.
So, um, yeah. Sadly I think I have to agree with the critics on this. Critic Roger Ebert said it lacked "a reason for being". This may sum it all up. I was left wondering what Julia and Tom were thinking. Maybe it looked like fun. Maybe they wanted to work together. Certainly neither of them need the money that badly.
To me, while the film had some entertainment value and Tom and Julie act the socks off their roles, the entire story was not believable. The characters were either cliche or over the top. The community college setting and behavior was way too "Stand and Deliver". None of it rang true, possible, plausible, or likely. It fell a bit flat and that made me sad. I didn't hate it, I didn't love it...I agree that it lacked a reason to be.