starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Bryan Cranston, Cedric the Entertainer, Taraji P. Henson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw,
Wilmer Valderrama, Pam Grier, Rita Wilson, George Takei and Dale Dye
written by Tom Hanks and Nia Vardalos
directed by Tom Hanks
Like Dark Shadows, Larry Crowneshould have been better than it was. Tom Hanks co-wrote Larry Crowne with Nia Vardalos, who wrote and starred in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002). He also directs and stars as the title character, a laid off retail store manager. He’s laid off because he has no college education, therefore he cannot be promoted under his company’s operating policies, and his unpromotability messes with the company image. So he is jettisoned. Crowne loved his job, and he was good at it, too.
But without a job he feels the economic pinch immediately. He is forced out of his large home that he can no longer afford, moves into a bachelor apartment, and goes to college in his fifties.
I loved seeing Dale Dye again. He keeps popping up here and there like Danny Trejo. Dye, a retired Vietnam-era Marine officer, was first introduced to movies as a military advisor. Then he was offered (very) small screen roles. But he was good at it and his screen appearances have grown and grown.
Larry Crowne falls in love with his public speaking professor, Julia Roberts, an alcoholic going through a separation from her deadbeat husband. (What a stupid topic for a university level course. Can anyone really take a university course in public speaking? In America you can. What is the world coming to? No good, maybe.) It’s a comedy romance, my favorite kind of movie.