Larry Crowne Movie Review: Life Lessons on Finding Happiness
There’s a difference in being content and having a deep sense of joy. When you’re living a life of contentment, you’re doing the natural things, of living in existence, to life at its fullest.
Going to work each day, carrying out your daily tasks, motivates you on the job. You’re focusing on getting the work done. In many ways, you could just be going through the motions. Nothing changes and life becomes routine, it’s a safe environment.
What happens when your life is suddenly flipped upside down? When the routines in life are unexpectedly ripped from your life?
Do you then wrestle with bitterness or feelings of anger? Do you fall into sadness or deep despair? The strength of your character is tested when life suddenly changes.
Tom Hanks as Larry Crowne
Larry Crowne faces his challenge
This is what happens to the character in the film, Larry Crowne .
In the movie, Larry Crowne faces many of life’s ups and downs. The film illustrates these unexpected changes while offering some life lessons.
Larry loses his job. Downsized, he finds himself in a familiar situation so many are facing today.
An employee of the month several times running, Larry was a dedicated hard-working man who was living in contentment.
Yet his employer lets him go.
“You don’t have a college education,” the bosses told him. “You have no chance for advancement. We are parting ways, Larry.” The employers appeared unsympathetic to Larry’s situation. A divorced man with no children, Larry lives in the house he bought out from his ex-wife.
Without a job, he now faces foreclosure. He has no income; no college education. Larry is facing a crisis in his life. He’s facing his storm.
Larry Crowne goes back to school
However Larry served 20 years as a cook in the Navy. He begins his search to find a job, no one is interested. Larry doesn’t give up. He is a determined middle-aged man. In spite of his circumstances, he is willing to take some risks.
There’s a difference between being content and finding true joy deep inside. When faced with difficulties, how a person responds makes a big difference.
Larry goes back to school. His dedication and hard work continues by being a good student. He pays attention and works hard at learning the subject material. There is more to Larry than what he reveals.
He takes a step into the unknown. Leaving his old life behind, he ventures on a new journey. Friends come to his aid.
Larry has an inherent motivation to succeed. He takes risks. He’s willing to let go of his comfortable past. He didn’t allow his circumstances to steal his contentment. He changed them.
Many are searching for the key to true happiness
Larry Crowne made a new reality in his life. He wasn’t filled with despair. He didn’t dwell on regrets.
He responded positively to his situation. He was willing to change things. He learned to find true peace.
Encouraged by friends, he had support. Willing to take risks, he was prepared for change. Doors opened.
Opportunities were presented and Larry learned some valuable lessons about himself.
He transitioned from being a dedicated content man to being a man filled with purpose. He found his source of happiness.
The 'Larry Crowne' Flop
In life’s search for meaning, Larry Crowne delivers an underlying message that’s pure in form.
The film is directed by Tom Hanks. Along with Nia Vardalos, Hanks co-wrote the screenplay, Larry Crowne. Hanks plays Larry alongside the “bad teacher”, a role played by Julia Roberts. This romantic comedy also features Cedric the Entertainer, Taraji P. Henson, Pam Grier and Hanks’ real-life wife, actress Rita Wilson.
The theater release flopped at the box office. Why? According to Hollywood standards, Larry Crowne was a flop. It pulled in less than $20 million in the States. An Academy Award winner actor, Hanks could have done better, they said.
So would Hollywood rather feature controversial films, suspenseful tales of fantasy, or thriller blockbusters rather than wholesome movies featuring life lessons, viewers can take away?
In today’s society, Larry Crowne could be anybody. His vulnerability is a lot like many.
Downsizing, loss of jobs and a tough economy has put many people in similar situations. Yet there is much to learn from Larry. His attitude, his willingness, and his risk-taking led him on a journey to find a different set of circumstances.
At the end of the day, Larry found peace. He found true contentment in the midst of his circumstances.
The movie is now available on DVD and Blu-ray release.