I spent some time trying to figure out what would motivate me to want to see the latest from Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. I like both of them as actors and it's always refreshing to see a good comedy. However, the operative word is GOOD.
I'd seen so many promos for Larry Crowne before all of the disasterous reviews began to rain down in buckets that I could probably repeat the trailers and ads word-for-word. At this point I have to say the opening of the trailer turned me off immediately.
Hanks' character is a valued employee for nine years. Heck, he snags the employee award every one of those years. Then he's fired because he doesn't have a college degree? It just doesn't make sense. I can see something happening that gets him fired, but if he was so valued would the company make no effort whatsoever to keep him on board? What does this say? That someone who is excellent at their job doesn't deserve to keep it without having the academic endorsement?
And the bit with the scooter. How has he been getting to work for all of those nine years? Does he not have two nickles to rub together and no credit whatsoever and therefore is forced to ride a garage sale scooter? Sorry, it doesn't fly for me.
Now if he had labored at the same job for nine years, giving it his all, and he is finally fed up with earning chicken feed while the bosses get fat, that might be a beginning. Maybe this honest guy suddenly isn't so honest, gets caught and gets fired. Now he's out in the cruel world, and that world has changed in the last nine years. He's been living it to the max with credit card payments and car payments he can no longer hack. The car is repossessed, he moves into a tiny apartment and realizes he has to get more education to land a job. The story unfolds from there.
That is an example of a scenario I could believe. Many people are tempted to go to the "sort of dark side." Of those that do, many get caught and pay the consequences. It could be funny, and it is only one possibility for a story line.
I guess I wasn't the only one who felt that way judging by the dismal boxoffice reports. What a shame to waste talent like Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts on something like this. I might watch it when it gets to DVD just to see what happens after the contrived opening, but I can't see myself shelling out up to $12 dollars to see it.
On the other hand, take something like Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen's latest. Brilliant writing, brilliant acting, totally entertaining. I'd rather pay the same $12 to see that movie a second time.
Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Have a great weekend.
MORGAN ST. JAMES