What a strangely appealing, predictable, yet charming movie! Despite dying at the box office, the Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts movie, “Larry Crowne,” was an enjoyable way to pass time between Dallas and Hartford.
It cleverly picks up on so many topics on that are on people’s minds these days. Foreclosure. Going back to college. The cluelessness of both bloggers and many college kids. And how just one good student out of a class of dullards can change everything.
Julia, (Margie), is a college prof who comes home and slugs down margaritas. Her husband spends his days languishing at Starbucks, going to the gym and writing blogs…oh, and looking at big breasted girls on porn sites. “I am just a man,” he laments. But Margie is fed up…with both the dull answers students give to her questions in her Speech class and life with her dopey husband without a clue.
Across town, Larry Crowne, (Hanks) is facing foreclosure and is out of a job. His neighbor, who holds a permanent tag sale next door, suggests he check out college for some retraining, and Hanks ends up in Margie’s speech class. He downsizes further by swapping his SUV for a gas-sipping scooter, and then befriends a pack of other college kids who also choose to zip around by scooter. Larry was a cook in the navy, so he falls back on his old profession while studying hard in class.
We all know what a good student can do to a burned out professor. Yet despite the cliché of the student getting the teacher, we see a natural and believable progression, as we celebrate with Larry in his new life. He’s lost his house, he’s working at the diner, but now he looks much cooler since being styled by his new college classmates, and he gets the hot professor after she dumps the porn-loving husband. That will teach the bum that telling his lovely wife her breasts are too small.