The 2012 screening diary of film critic TIM LUCAS.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
5. LARRY CROWNE (2011)
For the past fifteen years, I've been saying that Tom Hanks made one of the best directorial debuts in American film history with THAT THING YOU DO! (1996), a film so meticulously observed, so perfectly cast, so densely packed with sly trivial knowledge, and so adoring of actors that I have watched it at least a dozen times and always found something new to treasure about it. Beyond all expectations, the expanded Director's Cut released a few years ago on DVD proved to be even better. Though I'd heard this long-awaited follow-up was a disappointment (it's about an outgoing, squarish Umart employee who loses his job and goes back to college, where events prepare him for a relationship with a life-soured, separated speech instructor played with everything but charisma by Julia Roberts), there was no way I was about to look the other way when a film was literally produced in response to my prayer: that Tom Hanks would someday get over his WWII jones and direct another feature. Now he has, and LARRY CROWNE drops his batting average to just plain average. Look for it in the tapioca section.