Flick or Skip: Larry Crowne (Opens 1 July)

I don't think there's anyone who has been to a movie theater in the past three months who hasn't seen the Larry Crowne trailer. That thing is ubiquitous. I've seen it in front of horror films, action films, kids films, foreign films, and even documentary films. Based solely on that inescapable trailer, let's see if we can decide whether or not Larry Crowne is worth the price of admission on Friday.


Ahem. Sorry about that. It's just such a cute trailer. Tom Hanks is in full on "Tom Hanks is charming and funny mode" and Julia Roberts is being pushed into a slightly different character than usual. Has she played the stuck up anti-social know it all since Closer? I don't think so. It's different from that, too, by virtue of being played for laughs and not pity.

The plot is where I'm putting all my concerns. If the man has won employee of the month nine times, how can the company fire him from stocking shelves for not having a college degree? Do you need a college degree to work retail now? How are all those high school students at my local Walmart keeping their jobs then? I think it's a terrible conceit to get the film started and would love to know, from the trailer alone, who was responsible.* But that's conveniently hidden, isn't it? How bad must their recent films be to stop that normal title screen with credits at the bottom from popping up? Curious.

The trailer is cut to perfection to let you know what the film is like. You see the conflict, the solution, and the process by which Larry Crowne will get there. You get a taste of the full ensemble cast with cute little cuts at the garage sale, classroom, and warehouse. You learn real quickly that this film is going to be a lot of slapstick and visual gags from the scooter and the whiskey smoothie. And you also learn that it's a romantic comedy that seems to be balanced between comedy and romance.

If the soundtrack used in the trailer is an accurate reflection of the music in the film, I'd say Larry Crowne is setting the right tone for a fun trip to the movies. It feels light and fluffy, but relatable in the current economic climate. This isn't a comedy film about rich people with problems or suddenly falling into wacky adventure. It's about normal people trying their best to get by with the circumstances they have.

I'm pretty sure I'll go see this over the weekend. What about you?

*The answer is Nia Vardalos, the one hit wonder screenwriter of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Logic doesn't exist in her films.

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