By Drew Turney
Last time we saw Hanks and Roberts together (”Charlie Wilson’s War”) they had a fair amount of chemistry. What the hell happened here? It’s a different problem to the rest of the story, but their relationship amounted to a whole lot of nothing. And it’s not that neither of them were interested or turned up just for the money – Hanks wrote it and directed it.
The story had the same problem – no zip, no zing, no direction and no real point. We start by meeting dedicated (some would say overly so) department store worker Larry (Hanks) getting laid off. With nothing else in his life but his job, Larry is crushed and lost, and decides to sign up for college so it improves his employment prospects. Roberts is Mercedes, the disinterested teacher who hopes fewer than 10 students show up for her uninspiring classes so she can cancel them and go home according to the education department mandate.
The two getting together and falling in love goes through some wildly off kilter subplots about the pretty young classmate and her friends Larry falls in with and the opportunistic neighbour (Cedric the Entertainer) who’s always on the make.
Nothing really means anything and nothing really has any impact on itself or other characters. It won’t have much impact on you either.
The ironically-named feature “Fun with the Cast”