Sorry, Lisa, “Larry Crowne” is Better Than That

Lisa Schwarzbaum trashes “Larry Crowne” with a grade of C+ while giving “Transformers 3” a B. Oh, my.

Romantic comedy has this in common with romance: when you’re not in the mood, it can disappoint. Maybe Schwarzbaum was just having a bad day.

The film that I saw this afternoon was a cute, light-hearted, broadly painted romantic comedy, showcasing some likable actors delivering engaging performances. It was funny. I laughed out loud a lot. Hanks and Roberts pair well together and they’re charming enough that you want them to get together, as they, of course, eventually and obligingly do. In the supporting roles, I particularly liked George Takei’s slightly manic and off-center economics professor. Schwarzbaum dismisses his part as “an economics professor who sounds like Mr. Sulu,” but, if so, maybe it’s because Sulu sounds like George Takei. He’s still the funniest economics professor I’ve seen recently.

Yes, “Larry Crowne” is a fluffy, pat, feel-good story in which nothing ever seems really at risk, but sometimes I don’t want to feel at risk. I want to laugh and feel good. “Larry Crowne” made me laugh out loud and I left the theatre feeling good. That’s worth more than a C+ to me.