Yes, Cosmic Carra Reviews Larry Crowne!
Wednesday is date day for my husband and me. We drive 30 miles from Williams, Arizona into Flagstaff to have lunch and a movie along with doing errands one can't do in a town of 3,000.
Today we saw Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. I had only seen the previews and thought it would be an "ok" movie as the previews did not really "rock" me but it looked SWEET. Forest Gump, grown up on a reinvention quest is what I had envisioned.
I was so wrong, this movie has so many messages and such subtle humor I took 5 pages of notes.
- Strategic foreclosure (Photo by Brendel)
- Job loss
- Relationship issues
- Substance abuse
- Entrepreneurial motivation
- Paying it forward
- Having a plan B
- Alternative income sources
- Loving your neighbor
This massive list is covered in 1 hour and 39 minutes of meaningful entertainment. Taking notes in a movie is not unusual for me as that is just what I do. I go to movies for the message and the great one liners. I really do not like to watch movies more than once and no, we do not have a video library. Having a brain that thinks in pictures, the movie or even TV shows stay with me. I can't even watch reruns of Gilligan's Island as I remember the story line and don't want to see it again.
The messages of a movie are like a puzzle for me and trying to see what the story is, how it might modify how I feel, what I might do differently are key components to a good production. Movies that do not pull some emotion from the viewer or make you think are just mindless entertainment films and sometimes that is perfectly acceptable to simply spend the $6.00 per ticket at the matinee with the $1.00 soda in the refillable cup. Recently we saw "Midnight in Paris" which had an important message. "Bridesmaids" was a total waste of my $7.00 it was like a Saturday Night Live skit gone too long over and over. "Bridesmaids" was gross humor leaving me angry that I spent my money. "The Hangover II" was funny and again just entertainment with a short moral.
Larry Crowne is entertaining and does have a message and should be on your MUST GO SEE list!
Reading a review prior to watching the movie is an ABSOLUTE no, no for me! Having a brain like the Tin Man after visiting OZ is something we all have. We can watch, think and reason on our own based on trailers or descriptions of the movie. What difference does it make what someone else thinks about an art form which is supposed to touch your soul?
Tom Hanks is the director and Screenwriter along with Nia Vardolos of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" fame. The movie was released on July 1, 2011 by Universal Pictures staring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Taraji P. Henson, George Takei, Peter Scolari, Bryan Cranston, Cedric the Entertainer, Wilmer Valderrama, Jon Seda, Nia Vardalos, Natascha McElhone, Maria Canals, Pam Grier, Rami Malek, Rob Riggle
The movie takes a serious issue facing our country today and gives people HOPE.
Many of the reviews I read AFTER the movie are laughing at the optimistic approach to the recession. I am not sure of the age of some of the reviewers but they obviously "Don't Get It." The light at the end of their tunnel is a freight train and they don't have a clue! 14 trillion dollars in debt with no more room to borrow spells BK in most books. How this FACT is going to effect America in the days and weeks to come is yet to be determined. This movie shows how a group of people have chosen to adapt to the current changes in the economy to survive.
Larry Crowne, (Tom Hanks) is fired from his big box job because he does not have the educational background to move upward in the company. He is a model employee with receiving 8 employee of the month awards. He picks up the trash on the way into work and takes pride in what he does. These ethical qualities do not insulate him from being "kicked to the curb" as the company down sizes.
Larry takes being fired in stride and handles the rejection of job interviews from every type of job imaginable. One employer says "times are tough" to which he responds "tell me about it." Anyone in the audience having gone through a job search in the recent past can identify with the feeling of hopelessness in obtaining a new job. Larry is also divorced and had taken a 2nd mortgage on his home to pay off his ex-wife. So he is stuck with no job and a huge house payment. This is not Hollywood hype this is everyday life in our face. Larry ultimately takes a job from a friend in a diner being a line cook.
Going to college was an idea shared by Larry's neighbor, Cedric the Entertainer. Cedric had been the winner of a game show and made his living today with a perpetual garage sale. The bond of the neighborhood and the feeling of concern for one another was a message critics might not have seen as the plot envelops every part of our changing economy in one way or another.
As Larry fills his SUV with gas he sees two young people come into the gas station fill up their scooters with gas for $3.78 while his bill was just shutting off at $75.00. He makes the financial decision to downsize to a scooter for transportation just like many people are having to do today with cars to survive.
The first day of school Larry runs into a vibrant young lady, Talia (Gugu Mbatha Raw) who invites him to be part of her "gang." The story line here is a little unrealistic with a hot, quirky, fashionista befriending a middle aged man on an old scooter. However, the message could be for compassion to all mankind going through struggles needing a little help from their friends, no matter what age. What a great way to meet new people and invite them to hang out. Create your own "gang" and help others. I am thinking about a "Girlfriends Gang." This concept is a reach for some critics but the message worked for me! Talia has the entrepreneurial gene in her and quits school to start a business right in the middle of this economic mess. She is living her passion and looked at the numbers with Larry based on the rent and income projections to make the right decision for her. Today many people are looking at that same choice.
The gang helps Larry transform with a new look and feng shui for his dated home with an upside down mortgage. Talia is in an economics class with Larry and is constantly texting him while the lecture is on. One of my favorite lines was from George Takei (Star Trek fame) the Econ Professor as he takes away Larry's cell phone in class "They call these smart phones but only dummies use them in my class."
Larry really understands the principles in the Economics class. He has a discussion with the professor and makes the decision to go through a "Strategic Foreclosure." He spent time going to the bank, trying to refinance, trying to explain his situation and the banker says, "3 year ago I would have given you over $500,000 on your signature however, we can't do anything for you now as you owe more than the home is worth" Larry explains he can no longer pay the payments without a job to which she replies….. "let's get some complimentary coffee and talk as you have to continue making the payments." Larry knows the process and the fact he will have 30 days to vacate. He packages up all the documents and the keys and delivers them to the bank providing the deed prior to foreclosure. His neighbors have an emotional time with accepting he is going to have to move and the reality of what is going on in the world today is right there on the big screen for all to see.
Will this movie send a message to homeowners who owe more on their homes than the value will support? If they are listening it will and they should get legal and tax advise as to whether a strategic foreclosure will work for them in their individual situation. Each State has different deficiency rules on first and 2nd mortgages so no action should be taken without proper legal and tax advice.
Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts) is a speech instructor where Larry is taking a class called "The art of Informal Remarks." She is a self medicating alcoholic trying to numb herself to the feelings she has with her porn loving, writer husband who stays at home. She starts throwing rocks at what he does all day on the Internet when he tries to explain he is posting to his blog. She says he is not writing the blogs only commenting so he must have gotten the idea that commenting on blog posts was the same as writing a blog post from a "Canadian Blogger Thesaurus." He calls her "Boozeilla" then she retorts he is a "childish blogging loser."
The movie is so much more than 1 hour and 39 minutes of entertainment. It gives HOPE to everyone who watches it and is willing to listen to the message along with some humor and reality. The movie shows how people can support one another and make the best of a very unfortunate situation. Downsizing to a 1 bedrooms apartment with a one butt kitchen is not so bad after all if you have your priorities right. It is, what it is and you do what you have to do to survive today and this movies shows that it is perfectly acceptable to make changes to adjust to the change!
Read how people are sharing their lives and what they are doing to start over on the Larry Crowne website.
The content in this movie is an example of how human beings can be helping one another as the Cosmic Shift Happens!
If you are going through some changes and in need of some fun, support and new energy, the "Girlfriends Reinvention Weekend to Reboot Your Brain Camp" being held in Williams, Arizona August 19th to 21st is something for you to consider to take care of yourself and your mental well being. We will have guests talking about how they have survived similar situations described in this movie and how they have gone forward working Plan B and beyond!
Get off the hamster wheel and come "Reboot" with us!