Swanner: Every summer you have one movie that comes out amongst the blockbusters that’s more of an adult film. Last year it was The Kids are All Right and this year it’s Larry Crowne. Directed and starring Tom Hanks, we have a little movie about a man in his 50’s that’s recently been divorced, has just lost his job and now he’s in community college to turn his life around. Hanks gives his usual likeable performance but what’s different here is that it feels like he wanted to not out shine his cast so he plays Larry a few notches down. His generosity really gives this talented cast the opportunity to dance around the Larry character creating a wonderful ensemble piece.
On the subject of the cast you have Julia Roberts, Bryan Cranston, Taraji P. Henson, Wilmer Valderrama, George Takei, Pam Grier and Cedric the Entertainer. If you look even deep there is a secondary cast of newbie’s that are fantastic but the real diamond in the rough is Gugu Mbatha-Raw who plays the charming Talia who becomes Larry’s Muse. This actress holds her own up against some very big stars and sometimes steals the scene right out from under their feet. Hanks also wrote the script with Nia Vardalos, the Oscar nominated writer of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and their collaboration is the sweet and funny heart of this film.
The film focuses on the failing economy but doesn’t wallow in Larry’s despair it’s looks to the future and makes the point it’s never to late to change your life for the better. In the last two months I’ve seen nothing but Animated films, drunken comedies, super heroes and even a big turd called The Tree of Life so that makes Larry Crowne all the more welcome. Is it Oscar worthy? That remains to be seen but it’s really nice to watch a movie with no explosions or car chases where there’s an actual script and a funny one at that. I’d recommend this film to anyone that’s looking for a nice adult comedy. Larry Crowne is a winner.