Wednesday, July 6, 2011
A man with a scooter can accomplish anything
Ever since I got into films as a young boy and even before then I've always loved Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. My mother's VHS collection was comprised mostly of their movies so growing up I saw a lot of Big, Forrest Gump, My Best Friend's Wedding ect. I mean Disney played the biggest role in my life movie-wise growing up but I can quote Forrest Gump like a cheerleader can quote Bring It On. That said, besides Playtone and the work he's done with Spielberg, I haven't been a fan of his stuff behind the screen. He's a competent writer and director, but he's far from a Clooney or an Eastwood. So going into Larry Crowne, which was written, directed and starring him I was slightly worried. Despite having Julia there to star along side him and Nia Vardalos there to help with the writing I was still worried that it would be a well acted but poorly done movie.
Well Larry Crowne proved me slightly wrong...slightly. It's still a muddled mess for the most part and is almost so sweet it verges on being hokey, but the chemistry between Roberts and Hanks is undeniable and the acting is done well enough that you can almost overlook the glaring flaws in the writing and execution....almost.
It's a pretty formulaic story once it really gets going, and you can predict everything that happens ten minutes before it occurs, but the story is competently done and resolves in a way that will leave audiences mostly cheerful so I can't really fault it too much. Not every film is Citizen Kane so I got what I came for and liked it. That said the plot has a lot of weird pacing and unresolved issues going on. Subplots are picked up and dropped at random, bits almost seem missing from the movie and some scenes seem like they go on forever or that you blink and you miss them. Also most of the characters sans Crowne and Tainot are either underdeveloped or non-existent, even when giving their big time to speak. I know it's a Hanks cenric film but sometimes it feels like the scene from Mister Bean's Holiday with Willem Dafoe Like everyone else gets nothing while him and Roberts get everything.
The rest of the acting is really hard to judge though mostly due to the issues I mentioned before (the under or lack of any real development with the other cast members) but for the most part it's competent. There are no annoyingly bad actors and it's always nice to see George Takei and Bryan Cranston in movies despite their roles being fairly limited.
MY VERDICT: RENT IT