REVIEW: Larry Crowne

After many years of service and nine ‘employees of the month’, Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) is fired from his job at UMart because he has never been to college. To ensure this could never happen again Larry enrols at a college as a mature student and is told that Macy’s (Julia Roberts) class will change his life. Along with nine other very peculiar classmates, Macy teaches them how to speak informally, but most of all how to ‘care’. The film follows Larry’s bizarre college experience and his relationship with his teacher Macy, who is unhappy with almost every area of her life, including her marriage.

As a sucker for ‘inspirational’ films about hitting bottom and starting all over, I was really looking forward to seeing this film but I left the cinema disappointed. Both Roberts and Hanks do the best they can with the poor script and often bad acting from the rest of the cast. The plot jumps around not really moving from one part to the next and the characters have no real reason to fall in love. The films tries to be a quirky rom-com but the cringe-worthy scooters gang and some bad “dad” jokes make it fall flat with barely a murmur of laughter in the audience. There were a few moments when I thought the film might redeem itself but ultimately the film is predictable and lower than mediocre.

“Hanks directs with assurance. Perhaps if he had teamed with a more agile writer, less given to cheesy yuck-fests, Larry Crowne would be the nuanced adult love story it aims to be.” -Claudia Puig, USA Today

“Misses every target by a country mile”- Graham Young, Birmingham Mail

FILM REVIEW: Bridesmaids

“By treating funny women as normal people, Wiig has crafted a game-changing comedy that’s even better than The Hangover.” – The Radio Times (Karen Krizanovich)

Annie (Kristen Wiig) and Lillian (Maya Rudolph) are childhood friends so despite being single and broke she is happy when Lillian gets engaged. As the natural choice for maid-of-honour, she has no idea that she’ll have to take on Helen (Rose Byrne), Lillian’s new friend. A lot of chaos and frolics ensue with Lillian’s bunch of peculiar bridesmaids as Annie tries to fulfil her duties on a very tight budget, while Whitney flaunts her cash and contacts. Bridesmaids is the female equivalent of The Hangover but I’m not sure I agree that it is better. I had low expectations, my boyfriend had even lower, but we both found ourselves laughing out loud, there are some hilarious moments and some cringe-worthy ones- just like The Hangover I guess. The acting is great, particularly by Wigg (who is also one of the writers), which means the characters actually seems believable and the antics all more hilarious. Melissa McCarthy’s character, Megan, will have you falling off your chair in laughter.There is, of course, room for some of the chic-flic elements, a bit of predictable romance and some cheesy lines- go with a group of girls and you’ll all come out smiling. If you know a bride-to-be you must force her to see it.