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Larry Crowne


Year: 2011 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Tom Hanks 
Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Sarah Mahoney  
An image from Larry Crowne

When Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) is made redundant, he seizes it as an opportunity to go to college. As the middle-aged man is thrown into a cohort of young students and tries to fit in with the help of self-appointed mentor Talia, he also develops a crush for his public-speaking teacher (Julia Roberts).

This is a light-hearted story of an average American trying to reclaim life. It is obvious, at the start of the film, that Larry Crowne's horizons are very limited as his routine job took the centre place in his existence. Consequently, the opportunities for learning are many, despite his relatively old age. His eagerness and naivety are endearing, and the contrast between his age and his status as a learner and discoverer of the pleasures of life will bring many smiles to viewers.

Whilst elements of the plot are the hallmarks of teenager comedies (newcomer in college gets taken under the wing of a cool kid, teacher-student relationship), Larry Crowne is anything but formulaic. Relationships between secondary characters are fleshed out; college life is not seen as one massive party; the lecturers are subjected to a brand new set of clichés (the cameo by George Takei should chime with some of our experiences as Warwick students!). So the point that the film puts to us - that life is for the seizing regardless of your age - is not exactly original, but that can be easily forgiven, especially given how un-preachy it feels.

Add to the mix brilliant one-liners and world-class actors who manage not to take themselves too seriously, and you get a very refreshing piece of cinema which will simply make you happy.

Pierre Schramm

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Screenings of this film:

2011/2012 Autumn Term (35mm)