Larry Crowne (2011)
Director: Tom Hanks
No modern Tom Hanks movie flied as quickly and quietly under the radar as did Larry Crowne. This movie is another in the recent sub-genre of post 2008 financial collapse movies, as Larry Crowne (Hanks) opens the movie losing his job for a large retail store that is a clear mock-up of Wal-Mart. Crowne is great at his job, and has more passion and ability than any of his direct managers, but since he lacks a college education he has hit the dreaded corporate ceiling, and is let go. He then decides to go back to school at a local community college. Along the way he attends classes taught by the likes of George Takei and Julia Roberts. Of course you can’t have Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in a movie together without a budding romance happening. Bryan Cranston plays Roberts husband in a hilarious little role that is as far removed from Walter White or Malcom’s dad as you can get. Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Talia, a teenage college student who befriends Hanks’ character and shows him how to fit in, in the college lifestyle. Cedric the Entertainer is also likable as Hank’s next door neighbor, who, thanks to the recession is having a perpetual yard sale. Yes, this movie is very cloying and I can easily see where some people would dislike it, but I found this a fairly enjoyable match. The lack of any real great conflict hurts the movie to be anything but an enjoyable, but also forgettable passing flick, but for what was here I really liked it. I’m a sucker for movies with likable leading characters played by equally likable characters, and well, that’s pretty much what Tom Hanks has made his millions doing, so more power to him. My final verdict on this? This is nothing to go out of your way for, but it’s also nothing to run from either.