$13 million in opening weekend means bombing, when movies like Transformers swallow every movie screen in the world and make $162 million domestically only. But one look at the trailer of Larry Crowne, another movie I do not intend to see, and you can tell they must be dreaming. Tom Hanks has not aged well. He is charming and gifted and a good comedian, but he has become some sort of lifeless icon of American toothlessness (some sort of downgraded James Stewart) and he may be a huge movie star but he is not and never has been or will be a romantic leading man. To be one of those, it helps not to have a double chin and to have a modicum of sexual frisson about you. Fail on both counts. Plus, anybody who played Forrest Gump needs to be immediately disqualified to be a leading man, ever.
As for Miss Roberts, the only time I've ever seen her have chemistry with someone other than herself was with George Clooney in one of the Ocean's movies, don't ask me which. Perhaps with Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. Or with Clive Owen in Deception. Or in Eat Pray Love with Javier Bardem, who has chemistry with a wall. Point is, give her someone handsome enough and watch her blossom. Who can blame her? Yet there is something brittle about her. It's as if she is pretty on the outside and rather thorny on the inside. This is not necessarily bad. She's good when playing edgy roles. But she is not an effortless charmer and no amount of marketing fireworks can convince anybody that she and Hanks have any chemistry whatsoever. Then the storyline sounds like homework: A guy loses his job at some sort of Wal-Mart and he goes back to school, falls in love with the teacher? Boy, I'm sitting on the edge of my toilet seat.
This may work on an indy film scale with medium sized stars, not mega watt constellations like Hanks and Roberts.