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Academy Award winners Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts come together for a romantic and optimistic comedy about how it’s never too late to reinvent yourself. When he suddenly finds himself without his long-standing blue-collar job, Larry Crowne (Hanks) enrolls at his local college to start over. There, he becomes part of an eclectic community of students and develops a crush on his teacher (Roberts). Now this simple guy will discover that when you think everything worth having has passed you by, you just might find your reason to live.
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Good, clean (for the most part), light-hearted fun. Suitable, and even recommended, for older children on up. Hank's character is a very good person, and his good example shines through as the bottom line of this movie. So in essence he teaches us all lessons in how to be kind to others, the importance of being honest and trustworthy, the importance of hard work, how to be a good friend, and finally, why we all need to be more respectful.
So. Back to Larry Crowne. This movie may not appeal to you if you've never been screwed over by incompetent and/or brutish managers. Or if you have never had to walk away from a major purchase, like a house or a car. Or if you have never had to start your education all over again at a college where everyone around you looks like their 12. Or if you liked any of the Anchorman movies. Seriously. What, there are like two sequels to that now? Three? Who is watching those movies? I mean, besides people on planes that (apparently) have no parachutes. On the other hand, The Other Guys which also starred Will Ferrell made me laugh so hard I inhaled my popcorn. But just at the part where they talked about lions and tunas. The rest was embarrassingly puerile and I refused to admit that I liked the movie to anyone because of it. Well, except for this review. And the people on my commute in the morning. Also, the people in line at the last Marvel movie. Except for those people, and this review, I have never admitted it to anyone. And if you see it, you have my permission to also hide the fact that there were parts that had you stifling loud guffaws.
--- Semi weakish spoiler alerts ---
Larry Crowne was unrealistic in that hot chicks just don't take over the lives of middle-aged men, even if they both attend community college. However, this movie makes you think that they could. Or that they should. Or something. I am a not-so-young woman, and I still think that maybe they should after seeing this movie. It would do them both some good, I say.
On the other hand, this movie was realistic in that there are a lot of downsizing nowadays, a lot of realistic budgeting that may or may not include moving out of one's house, and a lot of rewriting of one's education so that one can realistically become employed again. All of that reality makes one think. And forcing one to think is a moral imperative for a movie that doesn't involve CGI or Mel Gibson's bare bottom, the early years.
After seeing this (or what the heck, before seeing this, whichever is your preference), I also recommend The Answer Man with Jeff Daniels. Normally, I think the use of swear words is a cheat in movies. They say to me "Hey, let's not go to the effort of creating dialog to indicate that this character is street savvy and / or a rebel, let's just have them say f-bomb a lot." But in The Answer Man, there is an actual point to swear word usage and it was rather cleverly done. My mother, who will turn off movies if there is too much swearing, enjoyed The Answer Man greatly, so... I like it, and my mom liked it. Thus, by the transitive rule of mom-always-knows-best, you'll like it too. And Larry Crowne, as well. This movie here, that I am reviewing. Both. That one and this one. Or either. Also, the Lion-Tuna scene in The Other Guys. That as well. But not the rest of the movie. Although there are bits and pieces here and there, so maybe you might want to watch it and just fast forward when it comes to parts that would make even a 13 year old boy wretch. Yes. Those two movies, and that scene. And then the rest of that movie, minus the blech.
You should probably write all of this down before you forget it. Otherwise, you might have to read this review again. And frankly, I don't think either one of us could take it if you had to read it again. Seriously. I am openly weeping.
Tom Hanks is this generation's every man--his directing and acting talents are well showcased in this movie. The Special Features open up the world of movie making and the kind of teamwork required of cast and crew.
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