Monday, July 4, 2011


Jon Stewart is right: no matter what Tom Hanks does, he'll never stop being adorable. Even in mediocre, boring movies with a hackneyed plot where he is simply not giving a fuck.

The eponymous Larry Crowne (played by Tom Hanks) is one of those annoyingly cheerful chaps working in the lower echelons of a movie-Walmart, always telling people what to do and generally bustling around the place. Except, he loses his job because he does not have a college degree. So he decides to go to college and there he rides a scooter, changes his wardrobe which automatically makes him cool and his financial woes are magically solved. Or something.

My first problem with this movie is that it's a boring-ass, utterly forgettable movie with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Seriously, I watched it two weeks ago and I am having a hard time remembering even the major plot points. Second, why would anybody in their right senses attempt a back-to-college-with-quirky-classmates film after the TV show, Community pretty much redefined the genre?

And needless to say, the plot is largely irrelevant and somewhere around the 40 minute mark, dies a sad, lonely death (probably in a Dickensian poorhouse). So this film is about Larry Crowne who is like a major loser because he's like, totally straitlaced and buttons up his shirts and everything, and then he heads to college for an economics course (taught by Prof. Hirohito Comic Relief) and a public speaking course (taught by Prof. Julia Love Interest), because these courses will now magically throw open the gates of employment for him.

While in college he meets a Manic Pixie Dream Girl who has no concept of personal space or privacy and rides around with a group of "bikers" i.e. people on scooters. Larry's wardrobe is changed, his furniture moved around a little, his trash taken out and voilĂ ! Larry Crowne v0.2 reporting for duty!

You're probably going to say, "You're shitting me. That's IT? That's all the movie is about?" Okay, to be fair they do spend five minutes on that bit where Larry is totez diligent and doesn't let all that scooter riding distract him from academics and then he aces the courses and the professors' eyes well up with tears as they proclaim him king of the college, etc.

Oh and there's also that "romance" between him and Julia Roberts. After watching this movie, my respect for JR has shot through the roof. She carefully chose this role because, not only did she phone it in, but the character required her to phone it in. Seriously. She plays a middle-aged, somewhat drunk, mostly disinterested professor who shows up to class, mumbles some words in the direction of her students and is back home before the ice in her cocktail has melted. There's also a bad husband tucked in somewhere, but really, at this point nobody was giving a shit and they ran out of film, so Tom Hanks and Julia kissed and proceeded to collect their cheques.

Somebody please get me a bottle of whatever Julia was drinking through the film.

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