For what Larry Crowne lacks in depth, he does make it up in heart and feeling.
Tom Hanks directs and stars in the film that tries to capture the emotion of being fired from your job, then having to rebuild. Larry Crowne is a guy who genuinely seems to like his job in retail, until he’s fired for not having a college degree. The story arc was pretty obvious at this point.
He believes getting that education will ensure that it doesn’t happen again, so he enrolls in a local community college. There, he meets Speech 217 Professor Mercedes Taniot (Julia Roberts.) She’s also at a low point in her teaching career and is depressed with her slacker husband, so she dulls the pain with blended mixers.
Larry also meets a free-spirited student, who rearranges his furniture in the Feng Shui style, gets him to join her scooter gang and helps him with a fashion makeover straight off the TLC network. Larry also takes an Economics 101 course, where he somehow learns the ins-and-out of home foreclosures, which transforms him into the master of his financial future. I simply find it hard to believe that one semester of credit courses and transform you that much.
Hanks and Roberts deliver passable performances, but I don’t feel like we really get to the core of their character’s problems. They were pleasant enough to watch, but I was glad when it was all over. This is a movie about overcoming life’s obstacles. But, if all I need to do to find a happy medium with my relationships, job and finances is take a credit at my community college, how hard can life really be?
Somewhere while they were out riding their scooters, the story transforms from one man taking control of his future, to a romantic comedy. In all, this is light fare. That’s OK, because it’ll be palatable to a wider audience. Your Mom will love this.