Larry Crowne Reviews
It's easy enough to accept the romantic-comedy luck of the two finding each another. It's much tougher, and ultimately useless, to buy everything else about this fairy tale of self-reinvention in a stalled economy.
Hanks directs with assurance. Perhaps if he had teamed with a more agile writer, less given to cheesy yuck-fests, Larry Crowne would be the nuanced adult love story it aims to be.
With its eager-to-please congeniality, it almost works, but with a pacing that is at once comfortably assured and frustratingly slack, like holding exactly to the speed limit on a stretch of open road, Larry Crowne never quite comes to life.
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.
This is film as comfort food, and even if it has very little nutritional value, its pleasantly bland texture will help keep you occupied until your next job interview or layoff notice.
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.
Movie stars may be less valued than they used to be, but it's still puzzling to see Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts stuck in a romantic comedy as flat-footed and tone deaf as Larry Crowne.