Tom Hanks has wow-ed me in films like Philadelphia and Forest Gump and Julia Roberts definitely surprised me in Erin Brockovich. I thought these two Hollywood darlings could possibly be a recipe for one delicious night of romantic comedy.
Larry Crowne is a newly divorced, middle-aged man, working at the local U-Mart. He is called into the back office where he thinks he’s going to be made ‘Employee of the Month’ – again. As most of these stories go, what he thinks is going to happen, and what actually happens, are two entirely different outcomes. Because Crowne doesn’t have a college degree, the former navy-chef is ‘let go’. Larry, in debt and with a house creeping toward foreclosure, attempts to find a job, but to no avail. He decides to enroll in a local community college and get the degree that’s missing from his CV.
The lecturer of his first class is none other than… well, you guessed the story ages ago, didn’t you? So Julia Roberts is his unhappily married lecturer that is completely dissatisfied with her life and bla bla.
The story continues on a fairly, straight and familiar road, with a couple of veers to the left and right provided by supporting characters. Talia is a free-spirited fellow student who befriend’s Larry, gives him a make-over and gets him to join her scooter club and Larry’s neighbors, Lamar and B’Ella, run a 7-day a week garage sale on their lawn.
There was definite chemistry between Hanks and Roberts and I did give out a few laughs, usually induced by Talia’s boyfriend Dell (Fez from that 70s Show). But with a cast like that, I had fairly high expectations and hopes of a few risks. Maybe the scenic route, rather than the M1 would have been better choice of storyline. The film was watchable, and a bit like peas – no one’s crazy about them, but if they’re on your plate, you’ll eat them.
Reviewed by: Nerice