Film Screening 29th September, 2011

Poster for Larry Crowne

Larry Crowne 

8:00 PM, 29th September, 2011

  • M
  • 98 mins
  • 2011
  • Tom Hanks
  • Tom Hanks, Nia Vardalos
  • Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Bryan Cranston

Larry Crowne is the first film that Tom Hanks has directed since 1996's That Thing You Do!; his second altogether, and a welcome return to the director's chair.

Larry Crowne (Hanks) has sailed along through life since leaving the Navy years ago. Good at his job and well-liked at work, he's stunned when he undergoes 'downsizing' - with a sizeable mortgage still to repay. He can't afford to have that happen again, so he takes out insurance against it, by going to college (i.e. university) for a qualification.

Making new, if unlikely, friends; riding around campus in company with fellow students, all on motor scooters; discovering the joys of learning; and increasingly taken with his disillusioned speech lecturer, Mercedes Tainot (Roberts), Larry finds a renaissance in a life he had allowed to become ordinary. By degrees, Mercedes too gets a chance to recharge the passions she has taken to replacing with alcohol.

As all romantic comedy seems to, this story has its share of pregnant misunderstandings. So will Larry and Mercedes realise their hidden blessing before compounding misunderstandings see Larry hospitalised at the hands of the jealous boyfriend of a girl Larry is not pursuing?

Hanks and Roberts have both managed in recent years to make their characters more understandable and to invest them with greater emotional depth than they did a decade ago. Both certainly make us care in this gentle and spirited comedy, giving it soul enough to touch a chord in all of us.

John P. Harvey