|"Larry Crowne" movie poster|
The title character. Larry Crowne (Hanks), leads a life into which a little - very little - rain must fall, and even then it serves the purpose of watering the seed of his glorious personal reawakening. Larry's unwelcome summer shower arrives at the beginning of the film in the form of an unexpected layoff from a Walmart-like big box store where he has worked for several years. That Larry has thrived, even frolicked, there is made all too evident in an opening video paean to workplace camaraderie that would have been excessive in a Stalin-era Soviet film touting the joys of collectivized agriculture.
|"Forrest Gump" movie poster|
Hanks has decided to reprise his role as Forrest Gump here, playing an indefatigable, not-a-mean-bone-in-his-body optomist, a character more suited to the story of mildly-retarded man buffeted about Zelig-like from one momentous event of the 20th century to another, than that of a middle-aged, retired Navy cook down on his luck. One would think that such naiveté would make Larry an easy target in any neighborhood this side of Mister Rogers', but Larry conveniently lives in an alternate universe tailored especially for him.
It is an off-kilter male fantasy universe where beautiful young women (such as the fethcing Gugu Mbatha-Raw) take older lost boys like Larry under their wings, style their hair, redo their wardrobes, redecorate their homes and initiate them into "mild bunch" gangs of scooter-riding twenty-somethings, whose rituals include low-speed drive-bys up and down the endless retail roads of Southern California in search of - of all things - yardsales.
It is a formulaic sitcom universe of pristine post-racial suburban streets populated by eccentric next-door neighbors, such as Lamar (Cedric the Entertainer), whose perpetual yardsale provides Larry with a golden opportunity to prove his worth to his new-found yardsale-seeking scooter posse.
It is a forgiving universe of soft knocks, where Larry quickly recovers his financial footing, finding part-time work as a cook at a diner run by his long-time friend Frank, and finding a kind of personal liberation in handing over the keys to his home to the bank as part of a voluntary foreclosure that will wipe his fiscal slate clean.
|Jimmy Stewart in the movie "Harvey"|
Julia Roberts! Sign me up. Just give me a second or two to roll up the other sleeve.
The Alternate Universe of "Larry Crowne" by Marc Merlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at thoughtsarise.blogspot.com.