LARRY CROWNE is a breezy, comical take on mid-life crisis, but it has some moral problems requiring strong caution.
Unexpectedly, the happy go lucky, middle-aged Larry Crowne (played by Tom Hanks) loses his job at the local super store, UMART, due to the claim he wasn’t educated enough for UMART. To avoid this from happening again, Larry decides it’s time to go to college. With a constant smile on his face, Larry starts to make adjustments to his life to stabilize his finances. First, Larry buys a used scooter and saves loads of money on gas. Then, he takes an economics class and a communications class.
Scooting up the first day of class on his new scooter, Larry meets Talia, the charming and carefree leader of the scooter gang, which protects the neighborhood. Talia immediately makes Larry her friend, introducing him to all of her friends, rearranging his house, and transforming his attire to be more modern.
Larry’s first class is a communications class, where the teacher, Mercedes Tainot (played by Julia Roberts), is teaching the students how to “care.” The only problem is, Mrs. Tainot is having a hard time caring herself, with a failing marriage and a lack of motivation to start the day off teaching an 8:00 a.m. class. So it’s Larry’s gentlemanly nature and the class’s diverse characters that gets Mrs. Tainot through the class in the morning. Larry himself starts to develop a crush on Mrs. Tainot, but moves about his day to his economics class with the maniacal Dr. Matsutani. Starting to truly understand the concepts in economics class, Larry decides to completely readjust his budget and living arrangements for the better.
As Mrs. Tainot’s marriage falls apart, leading her to drink excessively, Larry finds her on the side of the road and picks her up. At this point, Larry has to decide whether to do the right thing or give in to Mrs. Tainot’s seduction and kiss her.
LARRY CROWNE has many comical elements to the movie, with very good character development, but seems to have no distinct plot line. It’s almost as if the movie should be titled A YEAR IN LARRY CROWNE’S LIFE, because it feels more like a glimpse into a life rather then an over arching story with a definite plot line. Although Larry is a very positive character, always smiling through every hardship, there’s a strong pagan worldview with mentions of feng shui, an affair, divorce and many other elements that suggest the characters can create their own moral codes.
(PaPa, L, S, N, AA, DD, MM) Strong pagan worldview, with mentions of feng shui, suggests people can create their own moral codes; six obscenities (including one “f” word), two profanities and crude comments about female chest; no violence; kissing and groping, pornographic images of scantily clad women in suggestive poses, man speaks about his addiction to pornography and says “I am just an ordinary guy, doing ordinary guy things”; upper male nudity and man changes and is seen in his underwear, and images of scantily clad women; alcohol use and drunkenness; no smoking, but implied marijuana use; and, lying, affair, divorce, inappropriate student/teacher relationship, swindling.
A comical take on midlife crisis, LARRY CROWNE follows the smiles of affable Larry, who’s unexpectedly fired from the local superstore. Larry, who’s divorced, decides to pick up his life and go to community college. Scooting up the first day of class on his new scooter, Larry meets Talia, the charming, carefree leader of the scooter clique. Talia makes Larry her friend, introducing him to all her friends, rearranging his house, and transforming his attire to be more modern. One of Larry’s two teachers is a pretty woman going through some marital problems with her husband. Larry develops a crush on her. As her marriage falls apart, she starts drinking, and Larry has to decide whether to take advantage of that situation.
LARRY CROWNE has many funny moments and well-developed characters, but no clear, overarching plot line. It’s almost as if the movie should be titled A YEAR IN LARRY CROWNE’S LIFE, because it feels more like a breezy glimpse into a life than a full story. Although Larry is a positive, genial character, there’s a strong pagan worldview in LARRY CROWNE suggesting that people can create their own moral codes.