July 1, 2011, - 5:01 pm

Wknd Box Office: Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Larry Crowne, Monte Carlo

By Debbie Schlussel

No big whoop at the box office this weekend:

* “ Transformers:  Dark of the Moon“:  Messy, cockamamie story but with great special effects in the last scenes.  Way too long and too much overt sexuality and four-letter words for kids.  Read my complete review.


* “Larry Crowne“:  This is a lame chick flick.  And the chick is Tom Hanks.  The guy–the miserable, overly assertive figure–is Julia Roberts.  Clearly, she doesn’t have to act, as this is her personality in real life.  (She once said, “Republican falls between Reptile and Repugnant in the dictionary.”  And whaddya know, Roberts is in the dictionary between Roach and Rodent. . . and Rotten.)  And who wants to pay ten bucks to see it?  Not me.  The movie was supposed to be a comedy, but I barely laughed . . . at all.  It was like a bad romantic comedy from the ‘8os, with apologies to the ’80s.  This flick ripped off some elements of the far superior ’80s movie, “Summer School,” starring Kirstey Alley and Mark Harmon.  And it added the dark, anti-corporate specter to the mix.  Four words I saw at the beginning warned me this was a full-blown IED:  “Written by Nia Vardalos.”  (It’s co-written by Tom Hanks, but Vardalos’ movies are just awful.)

The story isn’t even the slightest bit believable.  Tom Hanks, an employee at UMart (which is supposed to be Walmart) loses his job after years of service because he doesn’t  have a college education.  Um, how many Walmart employees get fired because they don’t have a college degree?  Just doesn’t happen.  So, it’s preposterous to try to make us think these stores are “big, bad corporations” who do this.

Hanks has trouble finding another job and needs to make ends meet to pay for his home, which is about to go into foreclosure.  And he rides a scooter to save gas money. He decides to go to school and attends a community college, where his professors are Roberts and George Takei (“Star Trek’s” Sulu).  Roberts is insufferable, lazy, and mean to her students.  Her husband is an internet writer and blogger who is addicted to online porn while she is at work.  One night, when she is drunk, she has a fight with her husband and Tom Hanks gives her a ride home.  Predictably, there’s eventually romance there.

This movie is also hypocritical in its double standards for men and women.  Moviegoers are supposed to saw “aw, that’s so cute” about Roberts behavior toward Hanks, but if Roberts’ character were a male professor hitting on a male student, we would attack all of the behavior we’re supposed to applaud here as male chauvinist.  Roberts is a married professor trying to get in her student’s (Hanks) pants and sleep with him.  He gives a terrible speech for his final exam (it’s a speech class).  And, yet, because she wants to “date” (euphemism) him, she gives him an A+ for the semester, far higher than more superior students.  That’s sleazy, not laudable.

The only thing likeable in this movie is Hanks’ Navy veteran character, Larry Crowne.  He’s amiable, somewhat naive, and we feel for him.  But it’s not enough to make this dopey, hokey, predictable lame excuse for a comedy worth your ten bucks.  Sorry.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Monte Carlo“:  This is one of those cheesy kids movies aimed at Tween girls who love actress Selena Gomez.  For them, it’s fine.  For adults, it’s mildly amusing only if you must take your young girls to the movies (don’t go see it on your own).  For boys, skip it.

The story:  Gomez is a recent Texas high school grad, who has dreamed of going to Paris for a week with her best friend, a haggard and old-looking Katie Cassidy, a cheesy fellow waitress at a local restaurant.  But Gomez’ s mother and stepfather force her to take her new, stick-in-the-mud, goody-goody stepsister (Leighton Meester) with.

Soon, the girls find themselves on a miserable tour of Paris and are staying at a seedy hotel.  But a case of mistaken identity has people confusing Gomez for her doppelganger, a wealthy British heiress.  She and her two Texas companions are whisked away to Monte Carlo, where Gomez impersonates the heiress.

This isn’t a great movie, but it’s cute and fine for its target audience–Tween girls.  There isn’t any sex or violence or four-letter words.  And, as I noted, parents will be very mildly amused as they accompany their kids to this predictable fluff.  It does teach you that charity is important and so is honesty, so a pretty good lesson for girls growing up in a vapid, sleazy Kardashian world.

ONE REAGAN (for young girls, not you–so, don’t send me complaints if you are over 16 and don’t have a daughter who is under 16)

Watch the trailer . . .

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23 Responses

Surprise – a Tom Hanks / Julia Roberts movie stinks! Thanks for affirming Debbie and sorry you had to sit through it.

GianniV on July 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Glad I got the complete Godfather movies for…just about $10.00 from Amazon! So, it’ll be a decent movie weekend after all.

P. Aaron on July 1, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Dag nabbit good stuff you wihppresnapeprs!

    Char on July 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Only Half a Marx for Larry Crowne. I’m starting to fear you might be growing soft on us, here.

Pukeworthy chick flick about a tired old lady thinking its cute to want to screw Forrest Gump. Four Marxes and a Baba Wawa. And no I haven’t seen it; I am a dude.

Brian R. on July 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm

We’ve all been waitng for a ripoff of Summer School with a nasty liberal point of view to boot, lol. Thanks Debbie.

Stephen Schochet on July 1, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Hanks, incidentally, is in the dictionary between “Hag” (or “Hack”) and “Hapless.”

ConcernedPatriot on July 1, 2011 at 7:12 pm


I will not deny that liberal Hollywood loves to bash Wal-Mart. But I wonder if “Larry Crowne” was a bungled attempt to address current social and economic trends? You have the displaced blue collar male worker (man-cession or he-cession) in an economy that no longer needs his skills (yes, no one gets fired for lacking a degree in Wal-Mart, but he is a symbol for the economic changes). You have the high income educated white collar male who produces nothing for the economy or society and is emotionally and socially immature (Roberts’ spouse). You have Roberts, who is finding our brave new world less the liberating triumph depicted by such feminist propaganda as “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, “Murphy Brown”, “Designing Women”, “Working Girl” and “Nine To Five” instead a nightmare: unrewarding, difficult work and a bad home situation due to the males unsuited to be husbands that our society is churning out.

Sounds like a worthy project with bad execution. Let’s face it: who in Hollywood is capable of a serious movie for adults instead of stuff like “The Hangover”, “Black Swan” and the comic book adaptations? Maybe “Larry Crowne” would have turned out a lot better in the hands of writers and directors who did a much better job handling the subject matter like this in the 70s and 80s. A Barry Levinson or Neil Simon in their prime (not that I am fans of theirs, I just can’t think of anyone else right now) might have done this movie justice.

Gerald on July 1, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Love the “Monte Carlo” review. Especially your spot-on assessment of Katie Cassidy…isn’t she 99?

She is WAAAAAY too old to play a high-school grad…and she sure looks it.

I’m no fan of any of those girls but Gomez is like a dry piece of toast to me, Cassidy way too old and the Meester girl is the by-far prettiest of all the three. Perhaps the lead role should have went to her?

Ugh. More crap movies. Disappointing.

Skunky on July 1, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Thank you, Debbie, for your excellent reviews. I saw Larry Crowne and I’ll just mention two of your observations with which I especially agree 1) the gratuitous slam at Walmart was not based on rationally defensible grounds, since Walmart doesn’t fire employees of the month because they lack a college background ; 2) any teacher who flirts with and kisses his/her own student and then gives him/her an A+ for personal reasons is corrupt and disgusting and should not be presented sympathetically as Julia Roberts is in this film.

Although Roberts is, in real life, obnoxious slime and Hanks is a committed liberal ideologue, I do think Gerald commenting above is right to point out that there is a great deal of substantively dark social commentary in this film, commentary which made the film interesting to me. These are depressing times in our nation, and in my opinion, the calamitous shape of our economy is directly a result of the fact that we have a Marxist in the White House (as well as a liberal buffoon at the Federal Reserve). The film accurately depicts the dour mood, poverty, bankruptcies, mass unemployment, multiple jobs people must take to make ends meet, repossessed and underwater homes, escalating gas costs and severe economic retrenching being forced on everyday citizens.

Although to me the film simply confirmed the fact that Democrats have taken a wrecking ball to our economy and are responsible for today’s widespread woes, to Hanks and Vardalos who co-wrote the script, the intended message may be different. In one scene, the cook is shown reading the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Riding. The message of that book is the spiritual one that you can only reach peace of mind by simplifying your life and approaching it with the right attitude. Liberals have been writing articles for a while now about how these hard times in which we’re now living actually might be good for us, because they will toughen us up, make us leaner and smarter, and encourage us to turn back to human basics that give us more satisfaction. So don’t despair, the film suggests to viewers: The devastation in our economy actually will have the beneficial effect of making you all better people if you only buy a cost-efficient vehicle and adopt a more positive attitude.

I also saw Monte Carlo and personally found it cute and appealing. The bourgeois fantasies of the teens that become actualized when they become rich and beautiful people I’m pretty sure made liberal critics’ heads explode when reviewing the film. Also the three teens at the center of the story were a little foolish, but at least they weren’t as headstrong and narcissistic as is usually the case in stories like this. Just generally, I sensed a conservative subtext of values in the characters and story, and that’s rare for a movie targeted to this age group.

Burke on July 2, 2011 at 12:33 am

I’ve already put in my 2 cents on Transformers. so I’ll say no more.

“Larry Crowne”: I thought it was going to be a spy thriller. I’ll pass on that.

“Monte Carlo”: I’ll let my niece watch that.


And you’d thought I’d say – TORRENT.

The Reverend Jacques on July 2, 2011 at 2:00 am

TYT is yet another example of the lefts pencil penis actions. Of course his life is so jammed full of worthy endeavors that spending all the time it took to do the above post was no big deal.

To the original thought I wanted to get across. I have lost count of how many stupid portrayals of men, usually white, by the media. Lowes commercials just wouldn’t be complete without a clueless white husband type wandering around the store only to be helped by a very well spoken black female. Or all the commercials that have a Julia Roberts wife character making lone family decisions that are later seen as soo earth shatteringly insightful that everyone is taken aback. Unfortunately for posters like TYT he will actually live that role the rest of his life clearly due to the public school he was hammered into a pulp by.

samurai on July 2, 2011 at 9:53 am

And Roberts’ name is between “Roach”,”Robber” and “Rot/Rotten/Rotting”

Phineas on July 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm

“The guy–the miserable, overly assertive figure–is Julia Roberts. Clearly, she doesn’t have to act, as this is her personality in real life.”

So Julia Roberts is like a chick in a porn movie. The whole idea is that women are the assertive ones in porno, probably in part to the fact that reflects the personalities of porn “actresses”.

Not that Julia Roberts would be good in porn (or, well anything!). I mean, her famous PRETTY WOMAN poster was her head on some other woman’s body.

Eric Roberts' Uglier Sister on July 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Julia Roberts is aging, and it shows on her face.

bjr118 on July 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    They claim Julia Roberts is only 43. Yeah, sure, plus 4 at least!

    Petty Woman on July 2, 2011 at 8:40 pm

I would not waste any $ supporting Hollywood anymore since the radical left took over. Also I can’t stand Hanks and Roberts with her horse teeth.

Shame her brother Eric never became a big star as he is a better actor.

Fred on July 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Debbie, I have an advice for you, PLEASE ban this moronic troll TwitArmyoflosers, all he/she/it is doing is using all types of malice and defamatory remarks against you and some of the posters on this blog and is bringing NOTHING important and/or intelligent to the table. And it wouldn’t surprise me if this friggin thing is “Dianne-Brian” or some other loser, board-flaming troll?

Now to the main topic, at the beginning when I was a child, I used to like Julia Roberts, hell, I liked her role when she appeared in “Pretty Woman” back twenty-years ago. But as time progressed she began to show her true colors with her own far-left politics, by supporting everything that’s wrong and upside down for this nation. From that point on a decade ago when she spewed her far-left politics, I lost all respect for this lady.

“A nation is defined by its borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on July 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Not all nit-wits are necessarily muslims. In factm given the abse

DS_ROCKS! on July 2, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I don’t think that “TW@T Army of Vagrancy” is a muslim – note the lack of obscene and violent raging and absence of death threats typical of their ilk. Nope. This is almost assuredly just another home-grown, psychologically-impaired dhimmi-wit.

DS_ROCKS! on July 2, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Julia Roberts has been playing the same character si nce Pretty Woman. All she seems to do is laugh. That annoying hayena laugh.

ploomr on July 3, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Saw Transformers.

Overall good. But for the third Transformer movie in a row – have to again agree with Debbie:


Michael Bay would do himself and everyone a big favor if he would chop down the movies to an hour and forty minutes. I’m really tired of my son or I having to miss 5 minutes of the last 1/2 hour because we just couldn’t wait for the end any longer and hit the restroom. It’s kinda tiring as well…



mrrabbit on July 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm

The storyline as well as the CGI effects for the new “Transformers” were extremely well done. Michael Bay is used to bad reviews from haute critics. He won a ton of them for “Pearl Harbor” and “Armageddon,” although the critics showed mercy, sort of, with “Bad Boys” and “Bad Boys II.”

He rightly doesn’t care what the critics think. Bay entertains well. Boo-hoo-hoo to those who think they’re too “good” for him.

Seek on July 5, 2011 at 11:39 am

All I have to see is Julia Roberts and I know it’s a must miss. She’s on my Dishonor Roll of Sean Penn, Susan Saranwrap, Oliver Stone, Robin Williams, Ben Afflicted, the very overrated Angelina Jolie, and a few others who make films unwatchable.

“ploomr” is correct, Julia Roberts plays the same character over and over, just like Tom Cruise with his earnest truth seeking character.

White bread yuppies will eat it up, though.

Tom Hanks has made one good movie in his life…Bachelor Party!!!! Now, that was a great film…and yes I’m serious and I don’t care you don’t like to have fun and see hot babes.

Jeff_W on July 5, 2011 at 12:29 pm

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