Sunday, July 3, 2011

Larry Crowne

Larry Crowne stars Tom Hanks as the title character, who is downsized from his job at "U-Mart" because he did not attend college, and has limited abilities to climb the corporate ladder. His neighbor Lamar (Cedric the Entertainer), who along with his wife B'Ella (Taraji P. Henson) have a perpetual yard sale, suggests that he goes back to school so he will be "fire proof."

Larry enrolls in community college, and one of the classes he takes is Speech 217, taught by Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts). Mercedes wonders if she makes any difference in the lives of her students, and is very unhappy in her marriage with a man who published two books, but is now a professional blogger and spends most of his days surfing the internet for porn. He also takes economics taught by Dr. Matsutani (George Takei).

Larry befriends the fellow students in his speech class, who are all very quirky and funny. In an attempt to save money he buys a scooter, which results in him meeting a "free spirit" named Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), her boyfriend Dell (Wilmer Valderrama), and their "scooter gang." As you probably guessed from the movie trailers, Larry and Mercedes also have a little romantic entanglement, which threatens their professor-student relationship.

Although one could accuse Tom Hanks of playing the lovable, good guy he plays in a lot of movies, he added a lot of depth and feeling to his character. This movie is also a lot different than other Hollywood movies because it shows problems that real people are facing right now (how do you move on and start over in this new economy and new world we are dealing with). Also, George Takei has a great role as Dr. Matsutani, but Julia Roberts' character is a little unlikeable and it was a bit hard to see why he would fall for her.

Rating : 4/5 stars

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