Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 12A
  • Drama
  • 2011

Larry Crowne

Larry Crowne

Synopsis

A middle-aged, unemployed man (Tom Hanks) goes back to school to be taught a lesson by Julia Roberts. Also stars Cedric The Entertainer

About

Everyone likes pasta. It's reliable, inoffensive, nourishing. It might not be as exciting as the sauces, the spices, the meat, the cheese, the fish, but it's an essential bedrock. A bowl of sauce without pasta would not a meal make. But you wouldn't want a bowl of just plain pasta - boiled, no seasoning, no nothing - either. Would you?

Larry Crowne is an inoffensive film. It fills the time, it's wholesome, stolid. You may be able to see where I'm going with this. Yep, it's a plain pasta movie. It details the life of a man, Larry Crowne (played by Tom Hanks, who also directs and wrote the screenplay) in his mid-fifties who, upon being made redundant, decides to go back to college, where he studies for a qualification under a brittle teacher (Julia Roberts) in a troubled marriage. He is also given a makeover by a sublimely obnoxious twenty-something free spirit, and rides around on a scooter a bit.

This blandfest has practically nothing in the way of dramatic conflict, or jeopardy. There's no danger, no tension, no sauce, no spice. Everything happens pretty much exactly the way you think it will happen, and what happens is not so radical. Even the most predictable of rom-coms know that there must be at least a contrived misunderstanding, a dastardly villain or dramatic set piece for its characters to navigate.

Larry Crowne just feels flat. Nobody wants every film to pack a challenging emotional gut punch, have you rolling in the aisles with laughter, have you chewing your nails to bloody stumps, watching with revulsion through your fingers, or sobbing into your popcorn. But Larry Crowne is so much the opposite of all these things, it's difficult to see quite what they were aiming for. I suspect it's supposed to be a heart-warming drama. It left my heart lukewarm, and there's precious little drama.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Cedric The Entertainer, Julia Roberts, George Takei, Pam Grier, Tom Hanks
  • Director: Tom Hanks
  • Screen Writer: Nia Vardalos, Tom Hanks
  • Producer: Gary Goetzman
  • Photographer: Philippe Rousselot
  • Composer: James Newton Howard

In a nutshell

A nice idea but something of a misfire - it's not telling us anything new and it's hard to really care what happens to these characters.

by Catherine Bray

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Suffragette

    Suffragette

    Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham-Carter star in Sarah Gavron's drama about the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement

  • Film4 Notorious

    Notorious

    The story of the life and death of Chris Wallace, known to his fans as the legendary rap artist Notorious B.I.G.

  • Film4

    Saoirse Ronan on Arrietty

    The actress talks about lending her voice to the Studio Ghibli adventure

  • Film4 Hope Springs

    Hope Springs on Film4

    Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones star as a married couple who turn to Steve Carell's therapist for help with spicing things up in David Frankel's authentic comedy-drama on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Dark Horse: Welsh Premiere Announced

    [caption id="attachment_4385" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance[/caption] Sundance Award winner Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream A

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Bobcat Goldthwait on God Bless America

    "To me, the best part about being famous is taking down phonies..." As God Bless America receives its UK TV premiere on Film4, writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait (World¿s Greatest Dad, Willow Creek) lo

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share