A romantic comedy film produced and directed by Tom Hanks, who also co-wrote the screenplay. The film stars Hanks as Larry, a hardworking middle-aged man who suddenly loses his job due to a lack of college education. Struggled to find a new job, Larry took his neighbor’s advice and decided to enroll at East Valley Community College. She met Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts), her depressed speech teacher.
Larry Crowne was released in 2011, and it was one of the inspirational films I considered under Tom Hanks arsenal. It allows you to feel how important education to our lives. Larry shows us how he uses the things that he learned from his economic class, re-evaluated his career performance, and eventually rediscovered life. He saw how a college experience could lift your spirit and change your future. Like an ordinary college student, Larry also met friends and joined a gang of scooter riders. As a middle-aged man and with more life experience on his hands, he became a beacon of inspiration to youngsters and us viewers that it’s never too late to learn and age doesn’t matter as long as you’re eager to learn.
Tom Hanks, as he always been in his previous films, is perfect. He carries the movie on his shoulders, working on and off cam to make this story a reality. Julia Roberts also shines as Mercedes Tainot. Unhappily married to a blogger, Dean (Bryan Cranston), has rekindled her teaching interest when she meets Larry. Hanks and Roberts’ chemistry is effortless; however, there is a lack of development in their relationship, and like college (except in the scene where he scored), it appears that Larry only has a sweet crush on her teacher. It is unclear if this is what the film wants us to see since there’s a shade of college theme in the story, but putting Julia Roberts in that role needs a stronger narrative and development.
The supporting cast is all splendid. I only hope that they gave Steve Dibiasi’s (Rami Malek) character more screentime. His character is interesting, and he adds some laughs to the story as well. Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), a carefree student who invited Larry to join their scooter gang, is lovely and shows the other side of a student who is still discovering herself and, in the end, decided to drop out and pursue her interest.
Overall, Tom Hanks gives us a film that makes a giggle, a few laughs, and most importantly, inspires us that learning is never too late.
3 out of 5 stars