THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?

​​THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

LARRY CROWNE (2011)

This is one of Tom Hanks’ lesser-known efforts.  It’s extremely lightweight, a comedy about a hardworking affable man (Hanks) who one day is downsized at the department store he works in because he hasn’t attended college, and there’s no shot at advancement.  So he goes back to school to ensure it can never happens to him again.  He takes a speech class that he’s told will change his life, taught by an unhappy, grumpy Julia Roberts with a chip on her shoulder.  She’s stuck in a crappy marriage with a would-be writer who really just looks at porn all day (Bryan Cranston).  Roberts is highly amusing in a part that allows her to be short with Hanks, rarely smile and have the comedic weight of the world on her shoulders.  I loved her.  Hanks is also solid in a role that reminds everyone that yes, he is today’s Jimmy Stewart – able to play comedy, drama, whatever is needed, and play the part very well.  Great supporting cast, including the adorable Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a free-thinking classmate who changes Hanks’ look and hair; George Takai as an imposing economics professor; Rita Wilson as his banker, and Cedric the Entertainer and Taraji P. Henson as Hanks’ next-door neighbors who have a perpetual yard sale going on.  Hanks also directed and co-wrote (with Nia Vardalos of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame) There is nothing important or urgent going on here – Larry Crowne is a pleasant diversion whose characters you don’t mind spending 99 minutes with.  I didn’t. 

TLA one-word review: adorable

THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN