Do you remember the 80's and the 90's? When the studio's distributed films that weren't offensive, shocking, effects-driven or... awful?
Well, it would seem that Tom Hanks does. Which is not surprising since he starred in probably over 50% of them! For his second feature film outing as director, Hanks has gone right back to what made him a household name, and he cleverly brought THE other household name from the same genre of movie along for the scooter ride...
The outline is simple and has been dished out a thousand times before - person finds themselves after losing what they thought was important to them. This time round it's Hanks' job which has kept him going since his divorce. With his firing happening in the first 5 minutes of the film, the job of rediscovering himself through community college and being the new pet project of local care-free spirit girl Mbatha-Raw kicks into gear. Things move quickly throughout it's running time and sub-plots skipped over - Roberts' marriage is trashed easily to make way for the romance between her and Hanks to grow; Mbatha-Raw drops out of college to open a shop - but strangely enough, these matters are forgiven.
Most of this is down to two factors - the Hanks factor and, especially the Roberts factor. Her smile still knocks it out of the park, and her laugh when drunk on the back of the moped, infectiously reminds you of that jewellery case-snapping scene from Pretty Woman that cemented her into the public hearts.
It's, simply put, a warm, inoffensive tale designed to make you smile and feel good about life for two hours. Laughs are to be had, and even if not true belly ones from the likes of recent fare such as The Hangover, the jealous boyfriend of Mbatha-Raw's project on Hanks and Takei's mobile phone-grabbing Economics teacher keep the chuckles coming.
Sweet and a reminder of what Roberts and Hanks can do.
Release date: 01.07.11