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Larry Crowne

By AARON MESH
Take the NBC series Community, remove its braces of irony so it spills and wobbles onto the screen like a Tom Hanks-shaped Jell-O, and you have Larry Crowne. It announces itself from the opening scene as a gnaw-through-your-own-leg-to-escape variety of sunny torture; I spent almost all 99 minutes wishing I had to pee. The movie is so hapless from the outset that I don't think anybody will hold it against the participants—even Hanks, who directed. After being callously fired from his beloved big-box job, Hanks' Larry enrolls in junior college—an apt setting, since the movie feels like it was written by a juco student, maybe one studying English as a second language. In fact, Larry Crowne was co-scripted by Hanks and My Big Fat Greek Wedding's Nia Vardalos, and their collaboration has resulted in a movie where the characters feel compelled to reassure each other that they are good people, that their lives and conversations are going well, that the thing they saw happen actually happened, and that they just had lunch. That insecurity is partly due to These Economic Times, yes, but that doesn't explain the formal diction, or the way people around Larry are always laughing in delight for no reason. It is possible that every character in the movie is falling-down drunk; that's the best hypothesis I can offer. I do not mean to be snotty but merely precisely descriptive when I say that much of Larry Crown appears intended as a matinee for people with mild cognitive disabilities. Its target demographic is Forrest Gump.
 
  • Genres: Romantic comedy, Comedy drama
  • Running Time: 99 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, July 1, 2011
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 [ Brief Strong Language, Some Sexual Content ]
  • Critic's Score: 24
  • Starring: Tom Hanks [Larry Crowne], Julia Roberts [Mercedes Tainot], Bryan Cranston [Dean Tainot], Cedric the Entertainer [Lamar], Taraji Henson [B'Ella], Gugu Mbatha-Raw [Talia], Wilmer Valderrama [Dell Gordo], Pam Grier [Frances], Rita Wilson [Wilma Q. Gammelgaard], Rami Malek [Steve Dibiasi], George Takei [Dr. Matsutani], Grace Gummer [Natalie], Jon Seda [Officer Diamond], Rob Riggle [Jack Strang], Holmes Osborne [Dave Busik], Ian Gomez [Frank], Maria Canals-Barrera [Lala], Tom Budge [Stan], Joshua Biton [Officer Baker]
  • Directed by: Tom Hanks [Director], Tom Hanks [Screenwriter], Nia Vardalos [Screenwriter], Tom Hanks [Producer], Gary Goetzman [Producer], Philippe Rousselet [Executive Producer], Steven Shareshian [Executive Producer], Jeb Brody [Executive Producer], Fabrice Gianfermi [Executive Producer], David Coatsworth [Executive Producer], Philippe Rousselet [Cinematographer], Victor Kempster [Production Design], Alan Cody [Film Editor], Albert Wolsky [Costume Designer], James Howard [Original Music], Jeanne McCarthy [Casting], Carlos Menéndez [Art Director], Cheryl Carasik [Set Decoration]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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