Larry Crowne is a guy-friendly romantic comedy
The most impressive thing I saw watching Larry Crowne was one of the last things shown on the screen. The end credits listed the actors in order of appearance. Sure, Mr. Hanks was number one, but he is also the first character you meet in the movie. Right up there with him is “vacuum shopper.” Although typical in theatre, this isn’t the usual way Hollywood lists their stars and is just another indication that this isn’t the usual Hollywood movie.
Written, directed and starring Tom Hanks, Larry Crowne is a guy friendly romantic comedy. No weepy women, no long lingering shots of a sad man. It’s a good film with a happy message. It’s downright squeaky clean compared to what passes for a romantic comedy these days. Perhaps it has something to do with the co-writer of the film, Nia Vardalos of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame. She has a knack for this story telling thing.
Larry Crown is sort of a coming of age story except that the main character is already of age. Larry works at U-Mart, a cross between K-Mart and Target. He’s the perfect employee. Larry loves his co-workers, his customers and goes the extra mile because “it is the right thing to do.” Unfortunately, he is downsized from the company because he never attended college. Why that is isn’t very clear. He eventually finds himself at a local college and develops a crush on the ice queen of public speaking, Mercedes Tainot, played by Julia Roberts. All promotional material and trailer for this film shows Mercedes smiling and laughing, but she is a really a very unhappy woman and quite unlikable. While at school, Larry makes friends with Talia (Gugu Mbatha-raw) and her scooter gang of friends. Talia is a free spirit and makes it her mission to help transform middle-aged Larry into something cooler.
This is a character driven story and the characters are great. Hanks and Roberts are good friends in real life and that chemistry shows in this film. You expect Hanks to be funny, but Roberts can hold her own as well. The character of Talia comes off a little strong and smothering at times, but overall, is very likeable. Other characters worth mentioning are Larry’s next door neighbor and full time garage-seller (Cedric the Entertainer), the self-important economics teacher (George Takei) and Hank’s real life wife, Rita Wilson, makes a funny cameo appearance playing a role that is do different than what she usually plays.
Christian couples looking for a date movie that won’t make them feel dirty afterwards will love this movie. It’s not the perfect movie, there is not a lot of conflict and some situations are a bit unbelievable, but it is a good solid movie that is uplifting and shows the best in people. No higher message, no goopy love story. The story is intelligent, doesn’t stoop to lowbrow humor and isn’t mean spirited like Hank’s former You’ve Got Mail. There is some swearing, but it is not too extreme or out of place. The worse thing about this movie is its lame title.
Continue reading Larry Crowne is a guy-friendly romantic comedy – National Christian Pop Culture | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/christian-pop-culture-in-national/larry-crowne-is-a-guy-friendly-romantic-comedy-review#ixzz1QzKaxQ1O