A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie's message is that while life can deliver plenty of bumps and bruises, there's happiness awaiting those who are willing to open their heart to the unexpected and embrace change. Getting laid off, breaking up, losing a home -- all of these can seem very negative, on the surface, but they can also lead to positive new experiences.
Positive Role Models
Larry is an appealing everyman who's friendly to all and draws out the best in everyone he meets. Mercedes is a bitter woman in an unhappy marriage who exits one situation and learns to find joy in the other.
Violence & Scariness
A couple gets into a heated argument. A man delivers steely glares to another man whom he thinks may have a crush on his girlfriend, despite evidence to the contrary.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some flirting and one exuberant, drunken kiss. One character is briefly seen perusing women in bikinis on the Internet; he later discusses his habits and preferences.
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One brief, intense argument between a married couple features "screw you" and the F-word. Also infrequent use of words like "c--k," "ass," "damn," "hell," and "oh my God."
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Products & Purchases
Motor scooters play an important role in Larry's social evolution. He rides a battered Yamaha, while some of his new friends ride classic Vespas.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character drinks regularly to wash away the frustrations from her job, though she later begins to temper her habits. Another gets behind the wheel after drinking and is later arrested for driving while intoxicated.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this drama stars Tom Hanks as a recently downsized man adrift in life who decides to go to college. Julia Roberts co-stars as a bitter teacher stuck in a bad marriage who relishes her end-of-day drinks just a bit more than she should. The film's messages about finding unexpected joy in life are positive and uplifting, but unfortunately they're delivered in a superficial way. Expect some flirting and kissing, brief but strong swearing (including "f--k"), and ogling of online photos of bikini-clad women. One character drives drunk -- but there are consequences for that decision. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie feels like it's shooting for indie sweetness, but, alas, no dice. We really want to like LARRY CROWNE -- the movie, not the man. The character is plenty likeable, seeing as he's played by one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood, and the film is timely and potentially inspiring, focusing on a guy who's lost his job and needs to find a new path in a changing, economically shifting world. But instead of really digging into such fertile material, the filmmakers (including writer/director Hanks and co-screenwriter Nia Vardalos) have created a surprisingly superficial, tonally confusing movie that wants viewers to believe that Larry finds strength in being re-styled by a classmate and propositioned by a teacher who he says changed his life ... even though she doesn't want to invest too much energy in actual teaching.
The supporting characters are, for the most part, stereotypes (tough guy with a soft heart; quirky chick; porn-surfing, underemployed husband) and situations are wrung for profundity even when there's none. Still, the movie has a little charm thanks to its megawatt leads, who can sell almost anything. (Nearly.)
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.