Follow TV Tropes


Film / Larry Crowne

Go To

Larry Crowne is a 2011 comedy starring, co-written, produced and directed by Tom Hanks and co-starring Julia Roberts.

Hanks plays a Navy veteran who gets fired from his job at a Target-esque big box store after it is revealed that he never went to college. He decides to enroll at a local community college and in the process finds a new world previously unknown to him. The film documents his first semester and the people around him.

Larry Crowne has examples of the following tropes:

  • Black and Nerdy: Dave, one of the students in Mercedes's class, who gives a talk about the difference between the original Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation...while dressed up in a Next Generation-style uniform. He is mortally offended when Mercedes confuses Star Trek and Star Wars.
  • Bland-Name Product: Larry's job in the beginning of the film is at a store called U-Mart (an obvious reference to K-Mart) and looks like your average Target.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: As far as Mercedes' husband Dean is concerned. He loves women with large breasts, spending a lot of his day on the computer looking at nude or semi-nude photos with them, to her annoyance. His snide comment that she's jealous as a result of her having small breasts is her last straw, ordering him to get out of the car and dumping Dean.
  • Carrying a Cake: Mercedes' husband is trying to get a cheesecake home.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Evidently. One student gives a presentation on Star Trek, yet no one recognizes that George Takei is an Economics teacher.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Larry is taken to a room full of clothes, and he's asked to try some of them on. As he's stripping down, someone comes in, as Larry is standing there in just his tighty-whitey briefs.
  • Credits Gag: The credits end with all the company and union credits, and then the Chinese characters Talia had tattooed on her back, and the confirmation that they really do mean "soy sauce".
  • Dirty Old Man: Subverted. After seeing Larry and Talia together, Mercedes thinks his whole reason to go to college is to "find a gal who has a thing for papa bear."
  • Door-Closes Ending: Ends after The Big Damn Kiss, when Mercedes follows Larry into his apartment and the door closes.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Talia gets a free tattoo when she starts her shop next to a tattoo parlor. It supposedly means "courageous spirit" but apparently actually reads "soy sauce".
  • Feet-First Introduction: Some introduction shots of Julia Roberts' character begin with her (shoes and then) feet.
  • "Last Supper" Steal: Larry and his friends, eating pizza in the front yard of the house that he's leaving that day because it's being foreclosed, are arranged that way.
  • Late for School: Larry and others.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: A subversion. Talia initially seems to be set up for this role, but she never becomes Larry's love interest. In fact, she turns out to be a pretty astute entrepreneur, who respects Larry's grasp of economics. Lampshaded by Mercedes and Dell, who keep expecting this trope to manifest.
  • The Nicknamer: Talia gives nicknames to everyone, herself included.
  • Precision F-Strike: After Dean’s Buxom Beauty Standard comment, Mercedes yells at him him to "stop the fucking car."
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: The next class after Miss Tainot gets the incorrect idea that Larry is a Dirty Old Man who managed to start a May–December Romance with Talia, she makes him give a 2-minute pop dissertation on Interior Design. He freely admits he doesn't know a thing on the subject, but he says "[he doesn't] have to because [he knows] this girl who does" and goes to describe what he learned from watching her redecorating his place from to top to bottom. To Mercedes, however, his whole story sounds like Larry telling them how his life changed after he and Talia moved in together, simmering deeper and deeper in Tranquil Fury until him mentioning how she complained that his bed was too hard almost pushes her pass the Rage Breaking Point, forcing the teacher to interrupt his speech before the 90-second mark.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Subverted, because they wait until Larry graduates.