LARRY CROWNE (12A)
INDIVIDUALLY, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts are two of the most successful actors of their generation.
Thanks to the success of the Toy Story films, Hanks is currently the highest-grossing actor in the world and Roberts was reportedly the first actress to command a fee of $20m for a role.
Both have won Academy Awards for their performances – in Hanks's case, two back-to-back statuettes – and both are beloved by audiences for the ability to appear down-to-earth and accessible despite the trappings afforded by Hollywood.
The two stars join forces for Larry Crowne, a recession-themed romantic comedy directed and co-written by Hanks, that proves it's never too late to embrace life.
Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) used to be in the Navy until he secured a job as a team leader at a superstore, where the staff adores him for his cheerful, laidback approach.
Then the financial bubble bursts and Larry faces the terrifying prospect of redundancy like so many of his friends and neighbours.
Concerned about how he will pay the mortgage, Larry decides to broaden his skills by attending college and he enrols for a public speaking class.
Stumbling into the classroom, he meets feisty teacher Mercedes Tainot (Roberts), who has lost her passion for teaching and is stuck in an unfulfilling marriage to her husband Dean (Bryan Cranston).
Larry is smitten and as he gains the confidence to express himself in public, the former Navy man also gains the courage to tell Mercedes how he feels and to ask her to join him on his haphazard journey of self-discovery.
STAR RATING: ***