I Saw A Film Today… Larry Crowne

I’ve always thought that community colleges in film and television were made up. But this was based upon my experience at my community college. Take the one in Larry Crowne for example. It has actual buildings that are designated for specific subjects. The class rooms were somewhat modern. It was far from what I experienced. What I experienced was more like a high school. In fact I believe my high school was bigger. Needless to say my time with college has not been great.

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Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) has not had the easiest past few years. First he went through what he describes as a “bloodbath” divorce. He also has been struggling to pay off his exe’s half of their house note. The one thing that has kept Larry happy and going strong has been his job at U-Mart, a megastore. That is until Larry is let go because he never went to college.

To ensure this never happens again, Larry decides it is time to get some knowledge. He heads to East Valley Community College, where he becomes friends with a young free-spirit named Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). She gives Larry a total life makeover and makes him apart of her scooter “gang”.

Larry also takes a speech class that is taught by Mrs. Tainot (Julia Roberts), a teacher who has lost the passion she once had for teaching. She is also married to a once writer-now lazy blogger (Bryan Cranson). Can Larry Crowne change her outlook on life? Can he also survive his classes?

Larry Crowne isn’t the most original comedy but it certainly is good. In a time when Hollywood thinks that the only way to bring in the laughs is Zach Galifianakis getting punched in the guavas, this is a comedy that makes you crack a smile for something not crude. Larry Crowne’s bright attitude even in the face of painful events just makes you feel good.

Not to say this film does not have its inconsistencies. If I’m not mistaken college is expensive these days. How can Larry afford it? I also found it a bit hard to believe that Crowne could master the complexities of economics in only one semester of Econ 1. But then again when your teacher is George Takai, anything is possible I guess. And the ending that should have been is seven minutes before what the actual is.

Tom Hanks is an actor that just knows how to act, and this film is certainly proof so. He handles a character that could have strayed into extreme cliché’s (not to say that some others don’t) with veteran care. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is a fresh face to me and I loved every bit of her character. I have not always been a fan of Julia Roberts but she is great in this as is her on-screen hubby Bryan Cranson. The chemistry between Hanks is Roberts comes across genuine.

Larry Crowne is a corny comedy but something that is a release from what the summer has been offering. It’s an original screenplay, not a sequel. It doesn’t have a super hero in it. And you do not have to see Ken Jeong’s penis in order to have a laugh.

Plus, it really made me want a Vespa.

Verdict: SEE IT!

Comments? Opinions? I want to hear them so leave them below.

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