I don’t think Larry Crowne (played by Tom Hanks) set out to reinvent himself, but that’s what happened. His marriage ended, he lost his job (at a place called “UMart” — heh), and he’s about to lose his house. He wants to work, but it looks like he needs more education, and he’s realizing he may have to expand his job skills. He goes to his local community college, and between the classes and the other students, his horizons are broadened. He redefines his idea of the American Dream. At the end he may be cooking breakfast in ”the world’s smallest kitchen,” but you know he’s going to make it.
The script is written by Tom Hanks and Nia Vardalos (“My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding”), so it is full of humor the way real life is funny. Hanks also directs the movie. I’ve been a fan of Tom Hanks ever since “Bosom Buddies.” He’s authentic, he has class, and I’ll watch any movie he’s in. Am also fond of the actress who plays Mercedes Tainot, his speech professor at the college: Julia Roberts. Have liked her ever since “Pretty Woman,” and seen most of her movies. Ms. Tainot does some reinventing of her own in this movie, tho’ maybe it is more rediscovering. Another student, Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), helps him update his image and his attitude. I’d LOVE to have a personal stylist like her! George Takei plays Dr. Ed Matsutani (economics professor) and is a lot of fun. And Bryan Cranston plays Ms. Tainot’s husband, the sort of jerk you are happy to see get arrested (“I’m just a guy, being a guy who’s a guy!”). Thing is, none of these characters are two-dimensional — this is a well-written movie.
Last night we watched the deleted scenes and supplemental material, and it reminded me Julia Roberts is also a knitter. They filmed one silly thing they did to surprise her, where she walks into a large room and most the cast and crew are knitting! LOL Of course, someone else started the projects and handed them out, but a few of the people are actually knitting.
“Larry Crowne” is billed as a comedy/drama/romance. It’s also a look at life in the United States today. It’s a fun movie that makes you think. The DVD is 98 minutes, and rated PG-13 (for brief strong language and some sexual content). On a scale of 1-5, I’d give it a 4.3. I really like this movie.