Larry Crowne

Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts

Cert: 12A RT 99 mins


Despite dishing up a double-whammy of Hollywood royalty in Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, Larry Crowne turns out to be a king-sized disappointment.

Cheesy, unrealistic and desperately short on real laughs, Hanks’s first directorial offering for 15 years shows why the star should stick to acting.

The Oscar-winner plays Larry Crowne, a man retrenched from his job at a department store due to his lack of academic qualifications.

Determined to stop it happening again, he enrols in community college and takes a course in public speaking taught by sexy Mercedes Tainot (Roberts). As Larry gets the spring back in his step, Mercedes falls for her affable new student.

The biggest problem with Larry Crowne is that the relationship between Larry and Mercedes never rings true, meaning the movie lacks romantic energy.

It remains watchable thanks to a sterling supporting cast including Cedric the Entertainer as Larry’s neighour and Bryan Cranston as Mercedes’ porn-loving husband.

The movie raises some interesting points about redefining yourself during the financial crisis but, with the script devoid of funny dialogue, Larry Crowne is one of the more forgettable characters Hanks has created.

Good for: Star spotting.

Pierre De Villiers