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What Happened to Tom Hanks?

If only this were Lent, I could give up my television-viewing habits.

Sure, I’d go into serious baseball withdrawal, but at least I’d be spared the indignity of the seemingly never-ending stream of “Larry Crowne” commercials.

That’s the new weekend release starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts — Hanks is a laid-off megastore manager who kinda/sorta romances his community college prof, played by Roberts.

And, for reasons I don’t fully fathom, I already hate this flick:

1) Maybe it’s a built-in male defense mechanism against any Julia Roberts “rom-com”.

2) Maybe it’s because the ads feature not a single witty line or eye-catching scene — just Roberts cackling and Hanks smirking.

3) Maybe it’s because the film fires a shot across the bow at heartless capitalism — Hanks’ character losing his job because he never went to college and instead spent 20 years as a Navy cook. Hollywood just loves it when a nice guy’s “punished” for serving his country . . .

4) Maybe it’s because Tom Hanks simply can do better. Opinions vary on his best star-turn (I’d go with “Forrest Gump” and “Saving Private Ryan”) but one has to admit that it’s an impressive body of work.

BTW, is it my imagination, or has Hanks’ recent work behind the camera (producing such terrific mini-series as “John Adams”, “The Pacific” and “Band of Brothers”) been stellar while his work in front it has been less than inspiring? 

  1. Stuart Creque

    But what if it turns out to be an entertaining movie?

  2. KC Mulville

    I haven’t been a big fan of Tom Hanks in a while, mostly after his publicity shilling for the two Dan Brown films, The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons. I didn’t like either film, and thank God the “controversy” was more publicity than theology.

    But what I really disliked was how calculating Forrest and Opie were. Instead of the clean-cut all-American images they play off, they seemed more like used car salesman, ready to exploit any angle or publicist to make some bucks, no matter who was offended. It was more crass than class.

  3. Preserved Killick

    loved his work as Carl Handratty in Catch me if you can. Great role that he really nailed. Other than that, meh …

  4. Chris Johnson

     What happened?  He’s a man of the far left that makes a good living memorizing words written by others and emoting.  Now, he’s just mailing (You’ve Got Mail!) it in to the big screen.

    He never was that thoughtful character from “Saving Private Ryan”, any more than he was the grown up 10 year old in “Big”.

  5. Southern Pessimist

     The Road to Perdition was underrated and one of his better roles. Off the screen I have never heard him say anything that made me think he might be thoughtful but I don’t follow celebrities much so I could have missed it.

  6. Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    OMG! They both look like they’re having seizures in that pic.

  7. John Marzan

    Tom Hanks’ new movie is a flop.

  8. Andrew Barrett

    I agree that “Larry Crowne” doesn’t look very promising, but it is hard to say that Mr. Hanks is “mailing it in” when he also produced and directed the film.  What happened to Tom Hanks?  Simply put, he got old.  Not a lot of star vehicles for a 55-year old leading man in Hollywood.  Despite his politics, I find Mr. Hanks the most consistently entertaining star working today.  His films are almost always worth watching, and few actors have produced a string of films as wonderful as Mr. Hanks did from “A League of Their Own” in 1992 to “Catch Me If You Can” in 2002.  Also, his guest appearances on talk shows are often priceless; check out his recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

  9. Quixotic

    The trailer had an element of quirkiness; a bunch of seeming 30 and 40-something students at the community college run around on Vespa scooters, and an attractive member of this group asks Hanks, “Wanna be in my gang”?  Your sides are probably not splitting now, but it’s funny in the trailer, to me at least:  

    http://www.google.com/movies?hl=en&near=10003&sort=1&mid=72e1e322120dd10d&ei=w1MOTrbRCKe20AG3luD7DQ&view=list#trailer

    It might be that this is not a “message” movie or anything even mildly offensive, but just a romantic comedy about people trying to improve after their lives took a downturn. 

  10. prairiedoc

    I’m surprised no one mentioned “Castaway”.  One of my top 5 movies of all time.  I’ve been losing respect for Hanks as the years go by.  It seems his politics reflects such shallow, narrow mindedness.  I had thought he was smarter than that and I actually feel a little sadness at someone I admire falling short of my expectations.

  11. michael kelley
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: OMG! They both look like they’re having seizures in that pic. · Jul 1 at 2:20pm

    Or preparing for a High School Musical production of Oklahoma!

  12. Pike Bishop
    Bill Whalen: If it’s a good movie, I’ll stand corrected — maybe even break down a buy a ticket.

    But I look at the flat trailer, see a storyline that sounds awfully formulaic, and think that this might be a couple of film veterans mailing it in — ironically, getting pay a lot of money while taking a shot at the free market. · Jul 1 at 12:06pm

    Edited on Jul 01 at 01:44 pm

    Looks like you can save your money, a lot of other people are.

  13. Pike Bishop
    sawatdeeka: This might be absurd, but from the first flirtatious shot with Julia Roberts, I’ve been wondering about Hanks’ apparently solid marriage to another charismatic celebrity, Rita Wilson. Not sure those publicity pics would be good for anyone’s relationship.

    Most of us can’t help but like Hanks; he’s charming and unassuming. · Jul 1 at 12:20pm

    Rita Wilson, charismatic!? 

  14. michael kelley

    Don’t expect too much from singer, actresses and actors.  As mimics, they can work well.  As truth speakers, aaahhhh not-so-much.

    For example, I love Sinead O’Connor’s voice.  Arguably the most authentic Irish singer of her generation next to Christy Moore.  I did not appreciate her picking on the Pope by tearing his picture on Saturday Night Live.

    In America, we give too much credit to notoriety and thereby cheapen dignity.

    It’s where Beyonce and Lady Gaga emerge.

  15. thelonious

     ”That thing you do” was enjoyable.  Tom Hanks directed that movie.  A little saccharine but entertaining.  His best acting might of been in “Turner and Hooch.”  Any actor will tell you it’s not easy acting with animals.  I thought he pulled off that roll as well as well as any actor could.

  16. StickerShock

     There are plenty of us ladies who are repulsed by Julia Roberts flicks, too.

  17. sawatdeeka
    Pike Bishop

    sawatdeeka: This might be absurd, but from the first flirtatious shot with Julia Roberts, I’ve been wondering about Hanks’ apparently solid marriage to another charismatic celebrity, Rita Wilson. Not sure those publicity pics would be good for anyone’s relationship.

    Most of us can’t help but like Hanks; he’s charming and unassuming. · Jul 1 at 12:20pm

    Rita Wilson, charismatic!?  · Jul 1 at 6:16pm

    Well, charismatic in the movie(s) I saw her in. Don’t know a whole lot else about her, I guess.

  18. Kenneth
    Pike Bishop

    sawatdeeka: This might be absurd, but from the first flirtatious shot with Julia Roberts, I’ve been wondering about Hanks’ apparently solid marriage to another charismatic celebrity, Rita Wilson. Not sure those publicity pics would be good for anyone’s relationship.

    Most of us can’t help but like Hanks; he’s charming and unassuming. · Jul 1 at 12:20pm

    Rita Wilson, charismatic!?  · Jul 1 at 6:16pm

    Some years ago, we went to see Chicago on Broadway.  Rita Wilson played one of the two female leads.  Frankly, she was already pretty long in the tooth for the role.

    In the finale, the two characters do cartwheels across the stage – as most of the audience already knew.  When it came time for ol’ Rita to do her cartwheel you could feel everyone in the house holding their breath, praying it wouldn’t be a disaster. 

  19. Bill Whalen
    C

    If it’s a good movie, I’ll stand corrected — maybe even break down a buy a ticket.

    But I look at the flat trailer, see a storyline that sounds awfully formulaic, and think that this might be a couple of film veterans mailing it in — ironically, getting pay a lot of money while taking a shot at the free market.

  20. sawatdeeka

    This might be absurd, but from the first flirtatious shot with Julia Roberts, I’ve been wondering about Hanks’ apparently solid marriage to another charismatic celebrity, Rita Wilson. Not sure those publicity pics would be good for anyone’s relationship.

    Most of us can’t help but like Hanks; he’s charming and unassuming.

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