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DVD Review: Larry Crowne

November 15, 2011

Larry Crowne – An Alliance Films’ Release

DVD Release Date: November 15th, 2011

Rated PG for some language

Running time: 98 minutes

Tom Hanks (dir.)

Tom Hanks (writer)

Nia Vardalos (writer)

James Newton Howard (music)

Tom Hanks as Larry Crowne

Julia Roberts as Mercedes Tainot

Cedric the Entertainer as Lamar

Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Talia

Our reviews below:


Larry Crowne DVD Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

After being fired from a modest retail job, Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) decides to finally attend college.  Taking a course in the art of informal remarks, he finds himself falling for the teacher, Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts) and being invited to join an innocent scooter gang headed by the free-spirited Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw).

Directed, produced and co-written by Tom Hanks, Larry Crowne plays as nothing more than an entertaining diversion.  Although it is agreeably predictable and doesn’t reinvent the romantic-comedy genre, this is a safe film with an optimistic outlook and a positive message about how it is never too late to change your life for the better.  Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts are both very likable in their roles, and the film is genuinely uplifting in pretty much every way.  This is light entertainment to be sure, but sometimes that is all we need.

The DVD includes deleted scenes, a “behind the scenes” featurette and a blooper reel.


Larry Crowne DVD Review by Erin V.  

**1/2 (out of 4)

When Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) is fired from his job at U-Mart after 9 employee of the month awards, (all because he doesn’t have enough ‘credentials’), he sets out to go to college for the first time in his life, something he didn’t do initially because he joined the navy as a chef for 20 years straight out of highschool.  The idea is that with a college diploma, he will be ‘fire proof’, so he enrolls in two classes – Economics 101 with Dr. Matsutani (George Takai), and Speech 217 taught by Ms. Tainot (Julia Roberts).

Along the way, Larry predictably starts to like his teacher, Ms. Tainot, and all the while starts to sort out his life and find new paths that interest him.  At college for example, he also meets a young woman named Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who after seeing him ride his scooter to class, invites him to join her ‘gang’ – a group of free-spirited individuals who all go everywhere together on their scooters, showing him a different way of looking at life.

The simple truth is that Larry Crowne is not a brilliant movie by any means, but it is charming, well-written, and the cast are all good in their roles.  On DVD, it is worth checking out for a light comedy.


Larry Crowne DVD Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

It’s never too late to learn.  That’s what the title character learns when he decides to go to college for the first time.  Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) is a middle-aged man who gets fired from his job at U-Mart, due to the fact that he has no formal education.  So in order to become more employable, he enrolls in both public speaking and economics at community college.  There he meets up with a no-nonsense teacher (Julia Roberts), who has to contend with not only a bored group of young students, but also her obnoxious husband (Bryan Cranston).  Larry Crowne’s life is not only changed by her, but also by a young economic student named Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), whom, after nicknaming him Lance Corona, introduces him to her cool scooter-riding friends.  Larry “Lance” rediscovers his youth and begins a fresh start in life.

Larry Crowne is a timely film.  This is also a feel good movie that deals with the current world recession in a way that offers hope.  Both the big and smaller name actors are quite good, as is the screenwriting and chemistry between characters.  Larry Crowne has very minimal language and sexual content, making it suitable for both teens and older adults.  This is a sweet and charming movie that is worth seeing.


Larry Crowne DVD Review By Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

Sometimes the ordinary and average is good enough.  Larry Crowne, the movie, and Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) the character are just that.  This is one of those romantic-comedies that are light enough and sweet enough to keep the viewer entertained for an hour-and-a-half, but you’re not exactly going to be talking about it years from now.  And that’s okay.

Tom Hanks delivers a pleasant performance as Larry Crowne, a middle-aged man who gets downsized from a big box retailer because he doesn’t have a college diploma.  With nowhere to go but up, Larry signs up at the local college.  It’s there that he meets some interesting younger students to help him reinvent himself.  He takes two classes, one an economics class taught by an Asian businessman (George Takai of Star Trek fame), and also a public-speaking course taught by a disenchanted English lit. professor, Mercedes Tanoit (Julia Roberts).  It’s not hard to figure out that Larry and Mercedes will end up being good for one another.

There are no surprises here, no pearls of wisdom, just light and optimistic entertainment.  With decent performances from the entire cast, Larry Crowne offers a pleasant Friday or Saturday night rental.


Larry Crowne DVD Review By Tony

**1/2 (out of 4)

Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) was a model employee at a big box store before losing his job on account of twenty years as a navy cook being no substitute for a post-secondary education, so he takes a job in a friend’s restaurant kitchen and enrolls at the local community college. Divorced and childless, Larry gradually divests himself of stuff with the help of neighbours (Cedric the Entertainer and Taraji P. Henson) whose premises are one huge perpetual yard sale. Riding a scooter to save money, he hangs out with a gang of much younger riders who give him a personal and home makeover. An economics class under the pompous Dr. M. (George Takai) gives him the skills and confidence to sort out his accounts and those of his friends, but the most life changing experience comes in a public speaking class, both for Larry and the teacher Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts). Having long lost interest in both her job and her marriage to Dean (Bryan Cranston), a man-child writer who sits at home web surfing, Mercie would drown her boredom with spiked smoothies, leaving her hung over for 8:00 a.m. classes.

Directed by Tom Hanks and written by him and Nia Vardalos, Larry Crowne is full of charm and clean light humour, apparently too much so for many cynical critics. Though admittedly not as good as some of their previous efforts and completely predictable, its likeable cast and gently amusing script should not disappoint a slightly older crowd interested in a change from date movies full of adolescents and twenty-somethings.


Consensus: With likable performances from Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in the leading roles, Larry Crowne is a predictable but sweet romantic-comedy that offers a positive outlook on life.  **1/2 (Out of 4)

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