When Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) loses his job at a big-box store, he decides to get a college education and ends up in a public-speaking class taught by the cynical Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts). Hanks’s second film as a director (after that thing you do! (1996)) is an old-fashioned romantic comedy that takes place in the shadow of the Great Recession. The star plays an immensely likable Navy veteran who tries to make his new life work and possibly stumble into a love affair with his unhappily married teacher. A very pleasant cast struggles with an overly cute and paper-thin script.
2011-U.S. 95 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Tom Hanks. Screenplay: Tom Hanks, Nia Vardalos. Cast: Tom Hanks (Larry Crowne), Julia Roberts (Mercedes “Mercy” Tainot), Bryan Cranston (Dean Tainot), Cedric the Entertainer, Taraji P. Henson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw… Pam Grier, Rita Wilson, George Takei.
Quote: “They call them ‘smart’ phones, but only dummies use them in my class.” (Teacher Takei to Hanks)