Larry Crowne is a middle-aged retail clerk who excels at his job. Yet when the company wants to "downsize" he is the first to get the chop because he lacks a college education. From then, we begin to see the cracks in Larry’s perfect veneer and with nowhere to turn, Crowne enlists in junior college to make sure he is never fired again. Enter the quick-witted, over-stretched public-speaking professor (Roberts). De-motivated in her job and with a dead-beat ‘blogger’ for a husband, her only solace is cocktails at the end of each working day.
The movie is passable but in deep water contending with a slew of blockbuster, CGI-overloaded superhero and franchise films this summer. The storyline and the production is fuzzy and warm, with a happy ending as expected. It’s easy to watch but that’s where it ends. Roberts and Hanks have an undeniable, friendly chemistry on-screen and work well together. But in saying that, it makes every supporting actor forgettable and had they not been leading, this film would be a sensational flop.
A secondary storyline about Hanks being in a scooter club with his new college buddies and having the nickname ‘Lance Corona’ is painful, outdated and camp. Parts of tale bear no resemblance to a college environment and this often interrupts the flow of the film. The writing is patchy with rare laughs, if any.
In a Telegraph interview Hanks stated that a lot of the movie is based on his own life and experiences. Serving as co-writer, director, actor and producer, you can’t help but wonder is this movie a little bit too self-indulgent? Hanks has worked on Larry Crowne for three years but somewhere along the way he missed the mark.