Joy Lynn: This is a solid film and a nice story. It’s a soft and amusing romance between two of the top actors of our time. Don’t expect too much, but you should enjoy the ride….even on a nerdy Vespa.
Hanks as Larry Crowne is just the sweetest middle aged man you will ever meet. He is the kind of guy who is cheerful, hardworking, non complaining and just plain nice. Think: a better educated Forrest Gump.
Hanks is sort of a middle aged nerd, goodie two shoes who loses his job at a big retailer “U-Mart”because he does not have a college degree. He goes back to junior college to change all that. Junior college and somewhat lazy, burnt out but fun, smart assed teacher named Mercedes Tainot (Roberts) changes everything for Larry. So does a mid life makeover by a silly sideline story of Vespa riders—but this dumb distraction in the movie is slightly forgiveable, though adding nothing. The movie seems intended to give a recession era lift to many middle aged men facing the Larry Crowne situation. It probably works a bit—even if only giving some false hope of finding a Julia Roberts type teacher at your local JUCO willing to date you.
This is a simple positive upbeat sort of movie that will make you feel good. Is this a fantastic movie? No. Could this have been better? Yes, but with all the raunchy movies that have been produced in the last year, it is refreshing to see a “nice” movie. Hey, it is an option for those that are avoiding Transformers: Dark of the Moon this week.
The story has several messages that in the wake of the current economic situation are appropriate and timely. Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself is top among them. The chemistry between Hanks and Roberts is right on, but the film lacks some depth and vitality. Some of the plot seems pointless and silly. If you are a Hanks and Roberts fan you won’t mind. There is no squirming or uneasyness to contend with in this film, so load up the car and take the entire family to meet Larry Crowne and Mrs. Tainot.