Sometimes, I don’t even look at the name of the movie that’s screening when I agree to go see it. When I finally read the description on the press release for Larry Crowne, I was surprised to learn that there is a genre called “drama comedy,” which I now assume to be industry-speak for “totally unfunny piece-of-shit boring movie containing exactly zero successful jokes.” No wonder they needed a shorter name! I failed to arrive 30 minutes before the start of the screening (as press is expected to do), and I ended up in the front row between a mentally handicapped man who insisted on having an extended conversation about nothing and three adolescent girls who checked Facebook on their phones approximately every 10 minutes. Then for 99 minutes, I writhed uncomfortably and struggled for a way to support my craned neck. Now I’m pretty sure I’ll never forget to look into a movie before I agree to screen it. (Sorry, Lindy!)

Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) is that older guy who works at Walmart who you hate. (Here it’s UMart or something.) He does everything to corporate spec and really loves his job, but then—guess what—in a totally unexpected turn that you never could have anticipated, HE GETS LAID OFF. BLAM! WHO WOULD HAVE THUNK? So Larry sulks and whines to his neighbor (Cedric the Entertainer), who wears tracksuits and smokes a pipe and runs a permanent garage sale in his front yard and tells Larry to go to community college. After Larry starts classes, the film takes a second totally unexpected turn when it turns out that Larry’s favorite teacher (Julia Roberts) IS TOTALLY UNHAPPY AND MARRIED TO A JERK. Larry’s other teacher is Sulu from Star Trek, who talks in a very stilted manner like all Asian economics professors and has a creepy but endearing laugh, but still no one understands his class because it’s economics, everybody, and who understands economics, anyway!? Well, I’ll tell you. LARRY FUCKING CROWNE UNDERSTANDS THE ECONOMICS. Then one night, when Larry’s favorite teacher and her mean and insensitive blogger husband have the Inevitable Blowout, Larry stalks her to a bus stop and offers her a ride home on his scooter. She accepts (hint: She’s a little tipsy. Tee-hee!) and EVERYBODY LIVES HAPPILY EVER AFTER. The end.recommended