LARRY CROWNE review (Grade: B-)
By Jonathan Decker
Headed by rom-com royalty, Larry Crowne isn't a great movie, but it carries plenty of charm for those in the mood for something light and breezy. Directed by Hanks (who also co-wrote the screenplay with My Big Fat Greek Wedding‘s Nia Vardalos) and co-starring Julia Roberts (who hasn't been this enjoyable in years), Larry Crowne is the simple tale of a cashier who loses his job, goes back to college, gets a much-needed makeover from his young friends, and falls for his teacher. If you're upset that I just gave the plot away, don't worry: you'd have guessed all of that from the opening fifteen minutes (or the trailer). The fun is in the journey and the characters.
Hanks and Roberts have a nice chemistry as she, cynical and jaded from life, warms to his sweetness and decency. The supporting cast, from relative unknowns to veterans like George Takei (the original Star Trek) and Cedric the Entertainer are all having contagious fun here. It yields some solid laughs, but mostly this is a film that simply places a smile on your face and keeps it there. It's warm, hopeful, and predictable, and though I wouldn't (and didn't) pay full theater price for it, it's a nice little movie to cuddle up to.
CONTENT OVERVIEW: Larry Crowne is rated PG-13. There is one f-word (a wife is upset with her husband for pornography involvement and yells at him to stop the car and let her out), but otherwise very little language. A man's computer screen briefly shows women in bikinis. A man is briefly shown in his underwear (the scene is comedic). A man and a married woman share a passionate kiss, but he stops them and refuses to let it go any further, saying that they're going to “do the right thing.” SPOILER- they resume their relationship some months later when it's appropriate (she's no longer married nor his teacher).
MESSAGES TO DISCUSS: Dedicate yourself to education and learning throughout your life. You're never too old to gain a new skill. Pornography corrodes souls and marriages. Couples must deny sexual desires for anyone but their spouses.
Jonathan Decker is the clinical director of Your Family Expert. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist, husband, and father of five. Jonathan earned a masters degree in family therapy from Auburn University as well as a bachelor's degree in clinical psychology from Brigham Young University. He is an actor, author, and television personality.