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Saturday, July 2, 2011

278. Larry Crowne


    I just had a quick look through Julia Roberts' CV because I could not remember the last time I saw her in a decent film.
    I glanced through that self-indulgent Eat Pray Love nonsense, the grotesque Valentine's Day, the forgettable Duplicity, the okay Fireflies In The Garden and I arrived at Charlie Wilson's War.
    I sort of thought the same about Tom Hanks but I was wrong. I struggle to forgive him for Angels And Demons but he's had a pretty good run since...Charlie Wilson's War.
    Both were in excellent form when they last met up on the big screen so, with proven chemistry, and with Hanks directing and producing Larry Crowne, I lived in hope of something special.
    Instead it suffered from the worst of Hollywood diseases - laziness.
    Larry Crowne is like watching two of Tinseltown's A-listers being smug for 90 minutes.
    Its romantic storyline reminded me of one of Mr Creosote's mint chocolates. Its wafer thin and just might make you sick.
    The bile was certainly reaching my throat long before the inevitable ending.
    The plot is simple, bordering on trite. Larry Crowne (Hanks) has been fired from a job he loves and is very good at, just because he hasn't had a college education.
    Does this happen in real life?
    Anyway, he can't find another post so he goes back to college and one of his professors is Miss Roberts.
    She plays the most self-pitying woman on the planet who is turning to the bottle as her marriage collapses.
    Crowne is immediately adopted by his fellow students who help him improve his wardrobe and as his confidence grows so does the opportunity of sparking a bit of romance with his teacher.
    And that's it. No, honestly it is.
    There are a couple of side shows, thanks to the splendid George Takei, who does a great turn as an economics lecturer and Cedric The Entertainer as Larry's money-grabbing neighbour but, otherwise, you've paid yer money for Hanks and Roberts doing not a lot.
    The most entertainment I had in the whole movie was rowing with the old dear and her daughter who sat near me because they were jabbering so much during the film.
    Actually, what they had to say was more interesting than what I was watching on screen.
    Think twice before the big names attract you to this. I'm being generous by giving it 4/10.

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278. Larry Crowne


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