We follow Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks), as the title would suggest, as he has a collection of the worst moments in his life. It is really what Larry does with those downfalls that makes this movie so interesting. Where some people would think that their lives our over, Larry manages to pick himself up and make things better.
The acting in this movie is really great. Tom Hanks is a spectacular actor, he does a great job portraying the average guy with a positive attitude. He brings a upbeat energy to Larry that is necessary to make you like him. If Larry was a grumpy sad sack this film would be very boring to watch. Julia Roberts as Mercedes Tainot, was a wonderful bit of casting. Julia is an amazing actor that brings strength to the character of Mrs. Tainot. Mercedes is also going through a transformation in this film. When we meet her she has become stagnant, and has lost her passion for teaching. By the end of the film you can see a metamorphosis in her character.
Costumes are a very big part of this film, and help portray the changes that are going on in Larry's life. We start with boring and drab, and we end up with chic and suave. The costume designer must have had some great fun with this film, since we have many different styles of costume throughout.
As for his experiences in community college, they differ greatly from my own. Perhaps that is because I am going to school in Michigan and not in California. Or perhaps Larry is just a friendlier guy than I am. I don't mean to say anything in the story is unrealistic, but it would certainly take the right set of circumstances for everything to fall into place like it did in this film.
If you like character based films where people seem genuine, and the characters learn and grow from their experiences, than this is certainly a film you should not miss.
I rate this film four and a half smiley Mike heads. The characters were amazingly well thought out and it was set in a modern realistic setting. I almost forgot to mention George Takei as Dr. Ed Matsutani. As always he is a great actor, I love his evil laugh in this film, it is so well placed.