'Larry Crowne' Review: Awkward Tom Hanks Is Not for Everyone

Larry Crowne movie still

Larry Crowne, which comes out this weekend, is basically some people's dream come true -- Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts starring in a movie as potential love interests. I have to admit I'm one of those people, so I had high hopes for this movie while at the same time I was worried they'd completely let me down because that seems to be what movies do.

Of course, I should've had more faith in Tom Hanks' production as well as his writing with Nia Vardalos because I really liked it. Still, this movie is definitely not for everybody ...


The story itself is simple enough; it's about a man who loses his job and decides to go to community college. There, he ends up falling for his teacher. Ok, there's a bit more to it than that, but that description will get you a long way.

Let's start with things I loved about Larry Crowne: Tom Hanks being adorably awkward and awkwardly adorable. Julia Roberts playing a college instructor. Weird love triangles. Wilmer Valderrama being hilariously over the top in almost every scene he's in.

But I guess the best way to describe the movie is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. Like ... at all. This is a good thing and a bad thing.

Unfortunately, it means that there's a lot of general awkwardness and scenes that make almost no sense in the grand scheme of things. Normally, this would irritate me in a movie, but because I got the sense that Larry Crowne is supposed to be super-awkward, I assume some of the movie plays out that way for that reason. 

This is when not taking itself seriously became a major strength. All of us at the screening were tentative in our laughs at first, and I'm fairly certain we were all thinking the same thing: Is this for real? Are we supposed to be laughing now? But as we all got used to the style, we couldn't stop laughing. Now, it's totally possible that I love the actors involved in this movie so much that I'm making excuses for them and this is actually a sign of their failure, but once I got used to the weird moments and started anticipating them, I relaxed and was able to enjoy the movie even more.

In the end, if you're a fan of Tom Hanks and Nia Vardalos' humor and want to see Julia Roberts in a slightly different role than usual, you should definitely watch Larry Crowne. But if you hate any of those things or aren't prepared for scenes that define "awkward" with the likes of Wilmer Valderrama, you should go ahead and stay home. Trust me, you'll probably be annoyed if you don't.


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