Tom Hanks, who last went behind the camera with That Thing You Do! — a totally charming, totally harmless, totally watchable minor 90’s hit about a one-hit wonder — is going behind the camera again to direct Larry Crowne. Hanks is working from his own screenplay, and also starring alongside Julia Roberts in the film, which is set to start filming in April.
Details are scant so far on the movie, except that it’s about a man who is forced to reinvent himself and find a new career as he navigates the second act of his life. Sounds like the aftermath of Up in the Air.
Chances are, if That Thing You Do! is any indication, it will be forgettably charming, and though I do loathe his Dr. Langdon character, who is not at least a small fan of Tom Hanks? He’s one of the good guys and I can’t imagine a movie of his that I wouldn’t at least give the benefit of the doubt (save for The Lost Symbol). The subject material is appropriate, too, as this movie may suggest a transition in Hanks’ own life, from in front of, to behind the camera. I could definitely see Hanks as the next Ron Howard — a competent likable director who doesn’t really have much of a style of his own, but nevertheless churns out watchable features year in and year out.
The movie also reteams Hanks with Julia Roberts, who last paired in Charlie Wilson’s War (for which they were both nominated for Golden Globes). That’s a good pairing, too, since they were both 90s icons, who have fairly gracefully moved on to their middle-aged careers without putting up a lot of fuss or trying to downplay their age.
Source: Nikki Finke)