Saturday, 2 July 2011
REVIEW: LARRY CROWNE
The Thomas directorial Crowne affair.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Cedric the Entertainer, Taraji P. Henson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wilmer Valderrama, Rob Riggle, Bryan Cranston, Rami Malek, Maria Canals Barrera, Rita Wilson, Pam Grier & George Takei. Director: Tom Hanks. Screenplay: Tom Hanks.
Tom Hanks really is a living legend and one of the finest actors of this and past generations. From 'Big' to the huge 'Forrest Gump' there are too many of his greatest hits to name. So you know in picking up the pen and camera to write and direct 'Larry Crowne' he's ready to further his lasting legacy. Plus with penning and filming, his female equivalent-reuniting with Julia Roberts after 'Charlie Wilson's War'-you know something special is going to come from the lead, leading man and woman of the nighties.
Special? More like spectacular as this film takes this catchphrase to the 'Bruce Almighty' 'b.eautiful' max. This transitional, coming-of-middle age/finding lost youth comedy has nice elements of drama and romance without these genre-specific themes overpowering the easy-going, feel-good nature of this natural feeling and flowing film. In this movie 'Larry Crowne' is fired from his supermarket job despite being a super, employee of the month type of a guy. The problem apparently is that he never went to college, so back he goes as he makes up disgruntled teacher Julia Roberts classes.
So guess what happens? Love and new life is on the syllabus as Larry is taken to school by some new friends between economising classes and work. From getting a little style to even joining a gang on two wheels (OK, granted it's scooters), Crowne has a royal appointment with cool. Still it's Hanks's character and charm that shows who has the real class however. Hanks blends acting, directing and writing into a perfect performance and picture. This yet again seems like effortless excellence from Hanks, while Roberts matches him with her consistent top-form. Through the semesters to the peepholes the pairs chemistry is set.
The science of the success of this movie also belongs to the students of the supporting cast. Cedric the Entertainer is as entertaining as ever and his name, while Wilmer Valderama shows he's no punk too. Now get ready to laugh with Mr. Sulu, as 'Star Trek' legend George Takei is hilarious as a teacher, while you'll fall in love with nice and genuine Hollywood newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Speaking of love Tom's wife Rita Wilson also delivers in a small but great role in this movie. Even Pam Grier's, Rob Riggle's, Bryan Cranston's, Rami Malek's, Maria Canals Barrera's and Taraji P. Henson's bit-parts help fill out this movie, making it whole. It's Tom Hank's who brings everything and everyone (young or old) together however in character and his own unique style and spirit. This surprising comedy is great for anybody, from matinee viewers to Friday night date-goers. Nice and quaint, they simply don't make movies like this these days. Tom does though, so thanks for him. This feel-good film is the pleasant surprise of the year. The hot Summer-season of films is now in session with this touch of class. TIM DAVID HARVEY.