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CLIPS Movie Review by Roger Tennis

On CLIPS In July, 2011

Julia Roberts & Tom HanksAfter he loses his job, middle-aged Larry (Tom Hanks) goes back to college and develops a crush on teacher Mercedes (Julia Roberts).

TRIVIA: Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts starred in which 2007 movie?

cameracameracameracamera    (4 CAMS)        RATED PG-13

Downsized from the big-box store where he had worked since his time in the Navy and underwater on his mortgage, the well-liked Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) decides to start over by going to community college. In public-speaking class, he develops a crush on his unhappily married teacher Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts). Life begins to get a little better. "Larry Crowne" is a charming, leisurely-paced dramatic comedy with a touch of romance. Tom Hanks, who is also co-writer with Nia Vardalos ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding") and director, hasn't lost the charisma to carry a movie. He makes the audience care about what happens to this average American who must deal with job loss, foreclosure and other life-changing events. There is no sugar-coating of these subjects, nor is any of it heavy-handed. Director Hanks surrounds himself with a good cast that includes the radiant Julia Roberts. Bryan Cranston as Mercedes' husband, George Takei as a cell phone-hating teacher and Cedric the Entertainer as a neighbor with a perpetual garage sale lead the supporting cast. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, from the TV series "Undercovers", nearly steals the movie as classmate Talia, who cons Larry into a scooter gang lead by her possessive boyfriend Dell (Wilmer Valderrama). Mr. Hanks makes this a family affair with wife Rita Wilson playing a banker who handles mortgages and son Chet as a pizza delivery boy. The slow-moving romance is lightweight, but some rocking Tom Petty tunes dot the soundtrack. Proving Tom Hanks is still Acting King, the character-driven "Larry Crowne" should make a splash with the date crowd.