Larry Crowne 2011

Larry Crowne

Critics Consensus

Despite the relaxed, easy chemistry of stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, Larry Crowne is surprisingly bland and conventional.

37%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 202

41%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 32,508

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Movie Info

Once well-respected at his company, Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) finds himself on the unemployment line after a wave of corporate downsizing. Drowning in debt and unsure of what to do with his life, Larry enrolls in college, where he becomes part of a community of misfits who are all trying to carve out a better future. The possibility of romance enters the picture when Larry meets Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts), an instructor who has lost her passion for both teaching and her marriage.

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Critic Reviews for Larry Crowne

All Critics (202) | Top Critics (62) | Fresh (74) | Rotten (128)

  • An exceedingly minor entry on already impressive resums.

    October 7, 2011 | Full Review…

    Leah Rozen

    TheWrap
    Top Critic
  • To pluck romantic comedy from the jaws of a social crisis is a laudable project, worthy of Preston Sturges, and it's a pity that this featherlight drama-written by Tom Hanks and Nia Vardalos, and directed by Hanks himself-should falter in its task.

    July 18, 2011 | Full Review…
  • ...it's an old-fashioned star vehicle, fashioned for the particular screen personas of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts by Hanks himself, who directed the film and wrote the screenplay with Nia Vardalos. You may recall that he produced her breakthrough film...

    July 8, 2011 | Rating: 2.1/2
  • Larry Crowne is more than a missed opportunity. It's alarmingly, depressingly out of touch.

    July 7, 2011 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • Even if you wander into this congealed mess with nothing more demanding in mind than to spend a little time with two charming favorites, do not expect Forrest Gump or Pretty Woman.

    July 6, 2011 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

    Rex Reed

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • Neither fish nor fowl, Larry Crowne skitters between pathos and shtick, wasting abundant acting talent as it goes.

    July 5, 2011 | Full Review…

    Ella Taylor

    NPR
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Larry Crowne

  • Sep 05, 2017
    I think it should be obvious that we're living in economically difficult times. The economic crash of 2008 was disastrous for the United States and its middle-to-lower class families. This film, released 3 years after that economic crash, was certainly very timely at the moment of its release. Obama's presidency put a dent in the unemployment rates (as much as other parties will refute that, the numbers don't lie), but it's still not smooth sailing for a lot of people. There was a movie like this I saw a few months ago and it was called Get a Job. It looked at different people, mostly millenials, struggling to find a steady job that pays well and makes them happy. It also looked at someone who's a little bit older and how difficult it was for them to get back in the game and finding a job at a more advanced age. Ironically speaking, the older character in Get a Job was played by Bryan Cranston, who plays a character in this movie as well. I think Get a Job failed in the fact that it tried to focus on too many characters' stories without putting much detail into any one of them. I think this movie simplifies that, since it focuses on Larry's journey back to college to get a degree for himself so he won't get downsized again. I'll be honest, the only reason I probably even gave this a shot is because I love Tom Hanks. That's really the only reason honestly. I love Tom Hanks and, even if the film might not be great, his likability will make any movie an easy watch. And that's precisely what I can say about this movie. This might be one of the most inoffensive movies I have ever seen. It's about as harmless and as friendly as it can possibly be. And, really, that might be one of the best things about it. There's not many movies like this out there, films that, really, have no antagonistic characters (outside of Larry getting fired right after the movie starts). The tone of the movie is very positive. Larry, while struggling after a divorce and now losing his job, always maintains a positive attitude about what he's doing. Larry befriends everyone around him, falls in love with his teacher, etc, etc. I don't wanna say this is bubblegum pop, because I've seen some bubbly South Korean rom-coms that fit that description more than this one, but it's pretty harmless. There's nothing inherently wrong with a film being harmless, but it just has to be one that's entertaining to watch. And, honestly, outside of Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, George Takei and Bryan Cranston (in the scenes that he is in), there's really not much to this at all in the slightest. And I mean in terms of comedy. There's a few chuckles, for sure, but there's not what I would say a consistent tone as it relates to the comedy. I don't really think they could have mined for gold with this concept. It's just not something that's set up for that. But I do think the film fails to capture what people going through this are really going through. Though, to be fair, I don't think that's what they were going for. And I've always said that you can't judge a movie for not having something that it was never intended to have. So I know I sound like a hypocrite having said what I said. The casting is certainly solid, but I think the scripting leaves a lot of the heavy lifting to Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. As I mentioned, they're great together. Their chemistry is easygoing and enjoyable, but I believe that even two seasoned actors such as Tom and Julia need something more to work with. And Tom co-wrote (and directed) the damn thing. Again, I get that he (and Nia Vardalos) wanted something a little lighter. Something where you can just watch and not have to worry about antagonizing villains or anything of the sort. They didn't wanna bring you down past Larry getting fired at the beginning. Everything after that is positive in tone and I can appreciate that. We do need films like this. Shit can't always be bleak and depressing, there needs to be a balance. I just wish they had made more of an effort to craft a more intriguing story with characters that have some semblance of depth. I would say that this movie is watchable, but it's not what I would call average either. It falls just slightly short of that. I can't really recommend it, but it gets the job done if you're looking for something that's easy to watch without much in the way of conflict. I love you, Mr. Hanks, but this certainly isn't one of your best films.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jul 04, 2012
    Put Tom Hanks together with Julia Roberts and the result is..barfy as predicted. It gets a couple of stars for some good supporting work but can we please not see them together in any more films. I would like to eat and watch a movie without feeling stomach upset.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 19, 2012
    Not great, not terrible. I love Julia Roberts, and Tom Hanks is pretty great too, but it was pretty hokey. It had its funny parts, but it isn't something I would go out of my way to see again.
    Erin C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 24, 2012
    Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts make for an awkward romantic coupling in Larry Crowne. Though billed as a romantic comedy, the "romance" is more or less tacked on to a story that's mainly about a man rebuilding his life. Unfortunately the film stagnates, as no major conflict propels the story and no deep insight is given about the film's themes. The performances are more or less adequate, and the film plays it safe with soft, lighthearted humor. Larry Crown is a pedestrian comedy that offers the same old tripe repackaged.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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