Larry Crowne works as Tom Hankís treatise on the world at large and his steadily changing place within it. Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks), the titular character, is over 50, baffled by text-messages and scooters, deeply effected by the downturn in the economy and the lack of jobs, and still wears his polo shirt tucked in to his pants like a cop. The film itself is simple and sweet, the story of a man and the life-altering effect of community college, youth and love but you can feel Hanks trying to make a bigger statement on the way as we get older we become rocks in the worldís quickly rushing stream. Everything is rushing towards us and weíre relegated to sit and stare and wait for erosion to take us away. Hanks isnít an auteur and doesnít try to do anything remarkably original in the film, but he manages through sheer charm and an ability to turn sap in to something just a bit more palatable, he makes an endearing movie far better than it should be.
"with an e", has just found out heís been fired from his job
as an employee at a massive Wal-Mart like chain, and being
well in to middle age and lacking in a college education he
is, as the kids say, fucked. No one well hire him and his
mortgage has come knocking, and at some point in the near
past his ex-wife has taken him for most of what he has.
Enter community college and young, fresh faces and Mercedes
Tainot (Julia Roberts) an embittered speech teacher who just
might have a little life left in her. Hanks isnít attempting
anything new here, Larry Crowne is about an older man
discovery a renaissance in his own life. The film is much
like Tom Hanks persona, not jaw-droppingly gorgeous, but
nice to look at and familiar in a way that draws you in,
warms your belly and makes your face crease with smile. The
film, to a fault, follows the beats of any film like this.
Iím not giving anything away (nor did I once fear for a
moment that anything truly bad might happen to any of our
characters) to say that Larry Crowne, and all his many
accomplices, end up happy and in the situations we always
believed them to end up in. Oh yes, thereís a snappy hour
and a half of film in there that draws a solid line from
point A to point B, and itís an enjoyable line at that, but
we would not need to see any more of the film than the first
and last fifteen minutes to figure out where exactly our
friend Larry Crowne might end up.