Saturday, July 23, 2011

Larry Crowne

The word of mouth I had heard prior to seeing Larry Crowne was split 50/50 favorably and against. The premise of the movie has been well marketed. Heck I blogged about the first time I saw the trailer. How could a movie with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts not be good? Well after the feedback I received Thursday, Friday I noticed that the movie was about to disappear from theaters with only one showing at most theaters. I saw it at Tigard Cinemas in trusty theater number seven. I honestly could not tell you how many Oscar homework movies I have seen in that theater. I do think hearing the less than stellar conclusions some had helped improve my experience by completely resetting my expectations.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. My one criticism involves one significant scene and it was not aided by the overuse of music. Despite the heavily scored moment, the soundtrack is excellent. Two Tom Petty songs. I loved that the trailer set-up of the premise was over within the first few minutes. I had no idea how the third act would progress which pleased me greatly. I also did not know that actors Ian Gomez, Pam Grier, Bryan Cranston, Wilmer Valderrama and George Takei had roles in the movie. I enjoy being surprised. I should have known before the movie started that the great trailer for The Descendants, a George Clooney movie I had never even read about, was a good omen. That and the obnoxious girls in the theater miraculously stopped talking when the movie began.

I knew Tom Hanks starred and directed but I was not aware of Nia Vardalos and Hanks co-writing the script. You all know that the production company of Hanks and wife Rita Wilson is called Playtone after the record label Hanks' character reps in his first directorial effort, That Thing You Do! and that both Wilson and Hanks were producers on My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Of course you do. Playtone produced My Big Fat Greek Wedding after Wilson, who is Greek, saw Vardalos' one woman show for which the movie is based. I leave it to you to spot the not yet famous daughter of one of, if not the, greatest living actresses of our times but will tell you that one of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's sons, has a brief role in the movie, "thanks, you're a babe."  Thus concludes the trivia portion of this post.

Tom Hanks is my favorite. My list of "one of my favorites" is a longer list but Tom Hanks has been my hands down favorite for years. My mom can confirm this. On a trip to Southern California in the nineties Patty and Mom convinced me that they had seen Tom Hanks while picking up breakfast. My exasperation at missing out on the chance to see him was so severe that they cut short what had been planned as a day long prank because I would not let it go. Hanks' character of Larry is the everyman, definition of a good guy that he plays best. He looked like a regular, real person. His house was not perfect and looked like a real house, in a real neighborhood. I really liked Julia Roberts in the flick as well. I have always liked her movies but struggled to like her. I think after Eat Pray Love and now Larry Crowne I officially do.

I will remain true to my no spoiler policy and say in my best effort at code that I liked one scene better in Larry Crowne "with an e" than the similar scene in You've Got Mail. That may be so veiled that only my mom or sisters could decipher it. Maybe not even them.

The closing credits of the movie are original and fun, the cherry on top of my movie going experience.

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