Seems like an extremely low-effort movie, managing to coast by on charisma. So I’m not putting in much effort either – stealing the AV Club’s plot description:
Hanks plays the title character, a divorced Navy veteran and longtime employee of a Walmart-like chain whoâ€™s fired because he never went to college, thus canâ€™t advance any further in the company. Rather than filing what seemingly should be an extremely lucrative wrongful-dismissal suit, Hanks follows the advice of the quirky next-door neighbors (Cedric The Entertainer, Taraji P. Henson) and enrolls in a community college. There, he strikes up a friendship with even-quirkier fellow student Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who takes on the duties of a strictly platonic Manic Pixie Dream Girl, giving Hanks a makeover, enlisting him into her â€œgangâ€ of moped enthusiasts, and encouraging his interest in one of his teachers, a bitter, perpetually hungover English instructor played by Julia Roberts.
This is Hanks the lovable everyman, not Hanks the serious oscar nominee. In fact, if this was the first thing you’d seen with him or Julia Roberts, you’d assume they’re on the same bland caliber as Aston Kutcher and Anne Hathaway. Not much of a comedy, just a lightly entertaining drama – watching the trailer to get screen shots, it contains most of the movie’s jokes. Certainly not offensively bad, but I’m slightly offended at its total lack of rough edges.
Pam Grier is looking good. Grace Gummer looks distractingly like her mother Meryl Streep (it’s weird to see a 24-year-old Streep sitting next to 55-year-old Hanks, like one of those commercials featuring dead movie stars looking young again and trying to sell you a car). Economics professor George Takei was the highlight of the film by a long shot. I already forget who Holmes Osbourne (of The Box) played. And Bryan Cranston (Little Miss Sunshine) was convincing as Roberts’s loser husband.
When I look back on Larry Crowne, I want to think of Wilmer Valderrama on a scooter:
Katy liked it. Glad you liked it, Katy! Sorry if I was grouchy about your movie, and also for what I said about Anne Hathaway.