Larry Crowne stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, and it’s supposed to be this adorable romantic comedy about a guy who is working at U-Mart, which is a thinly disguised K-Mart, and loses his job. Tom Hanks plays the every man, kind of dumbed down a little bit. Then he decides to go back to school because he’s being downsized, and he doesn’t have a college education. So he decides to go and take some college courses, and guess who is one of his college teachers? Julia Roberts- baby, baby… who’s teaching an informal communication course. Now why you would pay serious money to take a course about how to talk in college is a little bit beyond me, but nevertheless…
George Takei plays an economics professor, which makes a little bit more sense to me in terms of actually getting college credits for something, and Cedric the Entertainer plays a next-door neighbor. But this is basically a Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts vehicle. The problem about this is Julia Roberts plays such an unpleasant human being that you really don’t like her very much. She’s married to a guy that she’s supporting, who’s supposed to be a writer and just looks at porn, and she has a drinking problem. This is written by Nia Vardalos, who did my Big Fat Greek Wedding, and apparently is a friend of Rita Wilson, who is actually a blond in this and looks kind of cute. It just really doesn’t work. The first three quarters of the movie is really these two playing sad sacks, and you don’t really like any of them enough to care anyway. I don’t know, it’s kind of Misfits, USA; it’s supposed to be about reinventing your life. The tag line is – hard knocks from today’s recession inspire one every day guy to undergo a personal reinvention. Well, not so much. The last five minutes are Julia’s smile and Tom playing Tom Hanks, but the first two thirds of the movie is just dull and doesn’t have any place to go. The end feels really tacked on and artificial. There is probably a decent movie about second chances, or doors opening, or even community college, but this is none of the above. One and a half stars.