Is Tom Hanks the nicest man in the known universe? His films have grossed billions of dollars, he’s the first actor since Spencer Tracy to win back to back best actor Oscars, he collects vintage typewriters and he’s the voice of Woody in Toy Story! And this week we can add ‘Getting Paul out of a tight spot’ to his list of achievements and attributes.
Pride comes before a fall; in my excitement at seeing Harry Potter so early last week (did I mention it’s rather marvellous and probably the best one yet?) I went into the studio last Saturday, unable to contain my sense of smug self-satisfaction and crowed loudly down a microphone all about my privileged experience. That I was in a studio full of people who either hadn’t ever read a Harry Potter book let alone seen any of the films or just didn’t care, didn’t darken my spirits a jot. I’d seen one of the best films of the summer before most people and I was going to jolly well enjoy it.
So thrilled was I that I totally forgot to mention any other film that I’d seen that week and just blasted on through, oblivious to form and decorum, blinded by sheer euphoria. I brazenly finished with the already obvious point that the paying public would not be able to sample the film’s charms for another six days but should definitely do so as quickly as possible.
If only I’d know then how silly I could feel just a few days later. It became apparent that The Tree Of Life’s roots would still not stretch as far as the South West for a second week (that film better be as good as I’m anticipating when I finally get to see it!) and no one else felt brave enough to go toe-to-toe with the boy wizard this coming weekend. What was I going to review this weekend? I had a review slot with no review, what else could I fill it with? What else could I do? Cooking? I couldn’t fill 20 minutes with the health benefits of a good cheese toasty. Could I?
Just when I was considering the finer points of a perfect Sunday my eye found the latest box office top 10. What should I find but the one film I haven’t seen, Larry Crowne! It’s been out for weeks and everyone has already seen it; who cares!? [pullthis]Is there nothing Tom Hanks cannot remedy with his everyman looks and self-effacing demeanour?[/pullthis] How many question mark can you fit in one article?
Finally I had some content. How could I say bad things about it now when it had so valiantly stepped into the breach and saved the day? It’s a great big warm hug of a film, starring, written, directed and produced by Hanks, he probably had a hand in the tea run while he was at it. It’s about a Tom Hanks a-like guy who gets fired from his job for not having a university education. He goes to college where he falls for his lecturer who looks incredibly like Julia Roberts. Who can blame him really?
Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about saying bad things, it’s not going to win any awards for originality or cutting, challenging drama, but it’s the sort of film that will warm those places left cold by most rom-coms on a freezing winter afternoon.
Although, one gong it can put proudly on its mantelpiece, is the Paul Moxham award for being there when he lets his stupid mouth run away with him.