Their crowns slip

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

RE­VIEW

LARRY CROWNE ( M)

Di­rec­tor: Tom Hanks ( That Thing You Do) Stars: Tom Hanks, Ju­lia Roberts, Bryan Cranston, Pam Grier, Rami Malek

As sappy as Larry

ONCE upon a time, the dream-team­ing of Tom Hanks and Ju­lia Roberts atop a box-of­fice mar­quee would have caused queues vis­i­ble from the moon.

But in 2011, with their once-bright stars but a twin­kle of their for­mer selves, a Hanks-Roberts pair­ing feels like a very dated idea for a date movie.

Which turns out to be the ex­act out­come for Larry Crowne, a re­ces­sion­era rom-com about look­ing for love in a lapsed job mar­ket.

Hanks ( pic­tured with Roberts), who also di­rected and co-wrote this but­tery feel-gooder, plays the ti­tle char­ac­ter, a sim­ple ev­ery­man des­tined to bounce back from a mid-life cri­sis in style.

But first, ol’ Larry must get the sack from a seem­ingly solid po­si­tion as a cus­tomer wran­gler at a hard­ware mega-barn.

Hav­ing al­ready been dumped by his mis­sus and left hold­ing a mort­gage he can barely make pay­ments on, Larry has hit an all-time low by the close of the movie’s first act.

The turn­around com­mences when Larry, who can’t find gain­ful em­ploy­ment any­where, de­cides to take a com­mu­nity col­lege course to im­prove his skills.

Af­ter fall­ing in with a groovy crowd that give him both a fash­ion makeover and a new set of wheels ( a vintage scooter), Larry’s life is soon on the up­swing.

All that’s miss­ing is a good woman. How­ever, the only vi­able can­di­date in his age band­width – his heavy-drink­ing pub­lic speak­ing tu­tor, Mercedes Tainot ( Ju­lia Roberts) – thinks Larry is a bit of a light­weight.

Any­way, Mercedes is al­ready liv­ing with some­one else. And when­ever she must in­ter­act with Larry and her other stu­dents, she gives ev­ery in­di­ca­tion she would rather be some­where else.

You don’t have to be a rocket sci­en­tist to work out where this mis­sile of mawk­ish­ness is head­ing, and the only real sur­prise is how long it takes for Mercedes to re­alise what an ace card Larry re­ally is.

With so lit­tle of note to work with, no one in Larry Crowne stands a chance of mak­ing much im­pact.

Hanks has lost none of his trade­mark charm over the years, but he does strug­gle to get us truly urg­ing Larry to achieve his dream.

Roberts throws a few in­ter­est­ing shapes ( her drunk scene is a stand­out) when given the op­por­tu­nity.

In fact, be­fore her char­ac­ter soft­ens up, you can’t help but re­flect what a great job she might have done in Cameron Diaz’s shoes in Bad Teacher.

www. larrycrowne. com

Now show­ing at Vil­lage Cin­e­mas

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