I’ve watched trailers for Larry Crowne (Universal, 7.1) maybe seven or eight times now, and I feel as if I’ve absorbed most of what this Tom Hanks film has to offer. Is there more to the feature than what the trailers have shown? Of course. A whole lot more. Trailers only use the lowest-common-denominator stuff. Why, then, do I feel I’ve already gotten the gist and that the movie will just be longer? An unfair thing to say, I know.
“The movie is about combating cynicism,” Hanks has told W magazine’s Lynn Hirschberg. “People are naturally optimistic, but you have to choose to walk away from cynicism. You have to say, I am going to combat cynicism today. I had this idea about a unique guy who loses his job and then, at the end of the movie, realizes that it was the best thing that ever happened to him. He thought he was going to die, but it turned out great!”
I don’t believe that people over the age of 10 are “naturally optimistic”. Most people are open as far as it goes but naturally guarded, cautious — they’ll take what comes and see how it plays, depending on how perceptive, kind, trustworthy or insane the person they’re speaking to at a given moment seems to be. I myself lean toward “cynicism”, which I choose to characterize as seasoned, battle-hardened and wise to the way of things. But I’ve still come out of tough or grueling experiences or episodes realizing that I grew as a person or a writer because of them. On top of which I don’t entirely trust the optimistic philosophy of a gazillionaire — no offense, Tom.