Cosmic Cow Pie: Connecting the Dots


Larry Crowne And The Foreclosure Message!

Larry Crowne And The Foreclosure Message!

Wednesday is date day for my husband and me.  We drive 30 miles from Williams, Arizona into Flagstaff to have lunch and a movie along with doing errands one can't do in a town of 3,000. 

Today we saw Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.  I had only seen the previews and thought it would be an "ok" movie as the previews did not really "move" me but it looked SWEET.  Forest Gump grown up on a reinvention quest is where my imagination was going.

I was so wrong, this movie has so many messages and such subtle humor I took 5 pages of notes.

  • StrategicForeclosure sign foreclosure (Photo by Brendel)
  • Job loss
  • Relationship issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Entrepreneurial motivation
  • Paying it forward
  • Having a plan B
  • Alternative income sources
  • Loving your neighbor
  • Gangs
  • Hope 
  • Love

This massive list is covered in 1 hour and 39 minutes of meaningful entertainment.  Taking notes in a movie is not unusual for me as that is just what I do.  You see, I go to movies for the message and the great one liners and I really do not like to watch them more than once.

Movie messages are like a puzzle for me, trying to see what the story is, how it might modify how I feel or what I might do differently.  If there is no message it really was just entertainment.  Larry Crowne is entertaining and does have a message and should be on your MUST GO SEE list!

Reading a review prior to watching the movie is an ABSOLUTE no, no!  Having a brain like the Tin Man after visiting OZ is something we all have.  We can watch, think and reason on our own based on trailers or descriptions of the movie.  What difference does it make what someone else thinks about art which is supposed to touch your soul? 

Tom Hanks is the director and Screenwriter along with Nia Vardolos of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" fame.  The movie was released on July 1, 2011 by Universal Pictures staring:  Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Taraji P. Henson, George Takei, Peter Scolari, Bryan Cranston, Cedric the Entertainer, Wilmer Valderrama, Jon Seda, Nia Vardalos, Natascha McElhone, Maria Canals, Pam Grier, Rami Malek, Rob Riggle

I Don't Get It ButtonThe movie takes a serious issue facing our country today and gives people HOPE. 

Many of the reviews I read AFTER the movie  are laughing at the optimistic approach to the recession. I am not sure of the age of some of the reviewers but they obviously "Don't Get It."   The light at the end of their tunnel is a freight train and they don't have a clue!  14 trillion dollars in debt with no more room to borrow spells BK in most books.  How this FACT is going to effect America in the days and weeks to come is yet to be determined.  This movie shows how a group of people have chosen to adapt to the current changes in the economy.

Larry Crowne, (Tom Hanks) is fired from his big box job because he does not have the educational background to move upward in the company.  He is a model employee with receiving 8 employee of the month awards.  He picks up the trash on the way into work and takes pride in what he does.  These ethical qualities do not insulate him from being "kicked to the curb" as the company downsizes. 

Larry takes being fired in stride and handles the rejection of job interviews from every type of job imaginable.  One employer says "times are tough" to which he responds "tell me about it." Anyone in the audience having gone through a job search in the recent past can identify with the feeling of hopelessness in obtaining a new job. Larry is also divorced and had taken a 2nd on his home to pay off his ex-wife.  So he is stuck with no job and a huge house payment.  This is not Hollywood hype this is everyday life in our face. Larry ultimately takes a job from a friend in a diner being a line cook.

Going to college was an idea shared by Larry's neighbor, Cedric the Entertainer.  Cedric had been the winner of a game show and made his living today with a perpetual garage sale. The bond of the neighborhood and the feeling of concern for one another was a message critics might not have seen as the plot envelops every part of our changing economy in one way or another. 

As Larry fills his SUV with gas he sees two young people come into the gas station fill up their scooters with gas for $3.78 while his bill was just shutting off at $75.00.  He makes the financial decision to downsize to a scooter for transportation just like many people are having to do today to survive.

The first day of school Larry runs into a vibrant young lady, Talia (Gugu Mbatha Raw) who invites him to be part of her "gang." The story line here is a little unrealistic with a hot, quirky, fashionista befriending a middle aged man on an old scooter.  However, the message here could be for compassion to all mankind going through struggles needing a little help from their friends, no matter what age.  What a great way to meet new people and invite them to hang out.  Create your own gang and help others. This concept is a reach for some critics but the message worked for me!  

The gang helps Larry transform with a new look and feng shui for his dated home with an upside down mortgage.  Talia is in an economics class with Larry and is constantly texting him while the lecture is on.  One of my favorite lines was from George Takei (Star Trek fame) the Econ Professor as he takes away Larry's cell phone in class "They call these smart phones but only dummies use them in my class." 

Larry really understands the principles in the Economics class.  He has a discussion with the professor and makes the decision to go through a "Strategic Foreclosure."  He spent time going to the bank, trying to refinance,  trying to explain his situation and the banker says, "3 year ago I would have given you over $500,000 on your signature however, we can't do anything for you now as you owe more than the home is worth"  Larry explains he can no longer pay the payments without a job to which she replies..... "let's get some complimentary coffee and talk as you have to continue making the payments."  Larry knows the process and the fact he will have 30 days to vacate.  He packages up all the documents and the keys and delivers them to the bank providing the deed prior to foreclosure.  His neighbors have an emotional time with accepting he is going to have to move and the reality of what is going on in the world today is right there on the big screen for all to see. 

Will this movie send a message to homeowners who owe more on their homes than the value will support?  If they are listening it will and they should get legal and tax advise as to whether a strategic foreclosure will work for them in their individual sitution. Each State has different defiencey rules on first and 2nd mortgages so no action should be taken without proper legal and tax advice.

Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts) is a speech instructor where Larry is taking a class called "The art of Informal Remarks." She is a self medicating alcoholic trying to numb herself to the feelings she has with her porn loving, writer husband who stays at home.  She starts throwing rocks at what he does all day on the Internet when he tries to explain he is posting to his blog.  She says he is not writing the blogs only commenting so he must have gotten the idea that commenting on blog posts was the same as writing a blog post from a "Canadian Blogger Thesaurus." He calls her "Boozeilla" then she retorts he is a "childish blogging loser." 

The movie is so much more than 1 hour and 39 minutes of entertainment. It gives HOPE to everyone who watches it and is willing to listen to the message along with some humor and reality.  The movie shows how people can support one another and make the best of a very unfortunate situation.  Downsizing to a 1 bedrooms apartment with a one butt kitchen is not so bad after all if you have your priorities right. It is what it is and you do what you have to do to survive today and this movies shows that it is ok! 

Read how people are sharing their lives and what they are doing to start over on the Larry Crowne website.

The content in this movie is an example of how human beings can be helping one another as the Cosmic Shift Happens! 

Carra Signature Large


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Cosmic Cow Pie

Carra Riley

Comment balloon 44 commentsCarra Riley & Declan Kenyon • July 07 2011 05:27AM


WOW! Looks like this movie really moved and motivated you. I have a friend who dissects movies in similar fashion and we are completely polar in our approaches to cinema. For me it's pure entertainment and my only expectations are exiting from the theater feeling that I was sufficiently entertained for the cost. Having seen the previews it appeared this one would would offer enough bang for my buck and I do like the featured actors.

Posted by Mike Mayer (Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC) about 9 years ago

Mike,  Just looked at your location in Louisiana... so you are up early or like me up late!  I loved the movie because people are hurting and this gives them hope.  it has good examples of how people can "pay it forward" and help one another.  It shows how some people are not meant to go to school and others are....  Not sure if you will feel the same if you just want entertainment but you can come back and let us know!  The foreclosure issues is something we are all dealing with in helping sellers so it will be interesting to read or hear what people in that situation thought of the movie.  It could stimulate MORE strategic foreclosures.  Thanks for your comment!

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 9 years ago

I am disappointed in EAT*PRAY*LOVE and I'll love to see this movie.  I just saw BURLESQUE on TV which was also surprisingly enjoyable

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) about 9 years ago

Carra, I am looking forward to this movie, thanks for the heads up!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 9 years ago

Wallace ~  I am happy that my review will encourage you to go see this!  It is more about the message than the actors!  Can't wait to see what you think!  So please come back after you see it and let us know!  Thank you!

Andrea ~ How exciting.. can't wait to see if people agree or disagree!  I just felt moved to say what I thought about this as the topic is so close to absolutely everyone!    Thank you!

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 9 years ago

Okay I had to bookmark your post as I want to go see the movie and then read your takeaways.  Be back in a few days :-)

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) about 9 years ago

Cant wait to see this now! Thanks for the review!

Posted by Tim Stephens, Omaha Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Ambassador Real Estate) about 9 years ago


WOW!  I am really looking forward to seeing this movie.  I love Tom Hanks & Julia Roberts!  Amazing that you take notes while at a movie:-)

Times are certainly not easy, but having a support group, a plan B and the right attitude can go a long way!

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) about 9 years ago

Cindy ~  How fun is that!  Can't wait to her what you think.  Thank you!

Tim ~  Very Cool!  Hope you agree after you see it so come back and let us know!  Thank you.

Michelle ~  So excited  to read your comments after you see it!  Thank you!  How are those peaches coming along?

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 9 years ago

Hmmm I've heard so many so so reviews but after reading yours Carra I'm going to go see it.  It looks cute...but now it appears it's so close to what's going on for many folks, especially in the Phoenix area.  Thanks....just might have to catch the early show this evening!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) about 9 years ago

Anna ~  I think you will like it... speaking to us directly through the heart.  I think that some of the critics have no clue how it feels to go through any of those experiences and others might not care.  I know you will care and see how helping others in a new way could be fun!  I am so going to create a "girlfriends" gang!  I had a lunch bunch in Bullhead City when trying to meet new people but creating a gang... too much fun!  They are so supportive of one another expressing unconditional love!  Can't wait for you to come back and let us know what you thought!  Thank you Miss Anna!


Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 9 years ago


It's on my list to see.  I'm trying not to read too much into your post.  I want to be surprised.


Posted by Carol Pease, CRS, Broker-Associate 512-721-6320 (JP & Associates Realtors) about 9 years ago

Carol  ~  good plan.. just go with an open mind you will get the message and then know how to share it with others that are hurting with the changes in the economy!  Can't wait to have you come back and tell us what you thought! Thank you!

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 9 years ago

I saw the advertisement for this movie and thought the same.  Now I will for sure go see it!  Thanks for the recommendation.

Posted by Barb Merrill, GRI, Associate Broker (Cactus Mountain Properties, LLC) about 9 years ago

Hi Carra - I loved this movie too! It had a lot of different messages to it and overall I think it was a very 'hope-filled' movie. Being a home stager in Canada and also teaching home staging, we are fortunate that our market for the most part is doing so well. There are so many 'good people' on the planet that sometimes when we are in the muck of it, we just don't see the silver lining.

Posted by Dana Smithers about 9 years ago

I wanted to see it because of the stars... Tom and Julia.  Then I heard that they aren't really in it that much-- or it takes too long for them to come to the forefront.  But after reading your post-- we will see it for sure, although, it might not be until it comes out on DVD!  Best,  K

Posted by Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886 (California Lifestyle Realty) about 9 years ago

Barb ~It was very funny to me because when I saw the trailer I thought maybe, maybe not but so glad we went!  Transformers or vampire movies not my thing :)

Dana ~ So happy to hear good news about real estate.  Home stagers are so important to help the buyer see the wonderful aspects of a home.  Thank you for the comments and glad to see you agreed!

Kathy ~  Tom Hanks is in most of the scenes... Julia not all of them but you get to see her enough!  Will look forward to hearing what you think!  Kathy... have you thought about coming to the Girlfriends Reboot Your Brain Camp?  You can come early on Friday or even Thursday and play Elephant Rocks Golf Course!


Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 9 years ago

Erica ~  of course there is a giant monkey on this page!  You are too cute!  It was date day  and he is used to it.. I can't text or write on my phone so he is happy when I just take notes on a pad :)  Hi back to Dakota.. Florida is closer to home right?  south instead of west!  he is a smart guy.. ocean and warm weather :)    Glad you liked theh post.. did you see the movie? 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 9 years ago

Carra~ My family and I saw this movie on opening weekend. I had to cash in one of my two "Mom gets to choose" yearly passes to get them all to go along, but they even had to admit that they enjoyed the movie. All four of have strong connections to education (two retired teachers, one parttime teacher, and a fulltime university technology specialist), so I tried to tell them that we HAD to see the movie based on that fact alone. Turned out, though, that the foreclosure aspect really hit home with the three of us who currently are REALTORS!

Posted by Liz Lockhart, GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate (Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO) about 9 years ago

Liz ~  I love your 2 free passes!  How fun is that.. it is like the coupon books I used to get from my daugher.. like clean the garage, wash the dog... never had movie choice but will remember that for the next coupon book!  I am so glad that they all agreed.. you see it is getting out of our comfort zone that gets us to grow a little!  Thank you for your feedback and good to know we are all on the same page! 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 9 years ago

Erica~  short flights are good flights!  We you will just have to come back to the soutwest for YOU.. Joeann Fossland and I are doing a Girlfriends Reboot Your Brain Camp Aug 19 to 21... so you can come visit again! 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 9 years ago

You've convinced me to see the movie. It's so sad to see so many people in similar positions today. I was raised to know that if you worked hard, you'd be successful. But suddenly that's not so true any more. So many are laid off now because of the economy no matter how hard they work.


Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Carra, wow...I really wasn't expecting all of this from the movie! I saw the preview and like you, never would have guessed it to be "all that" but now I know...and thanks to you, now I really want to see this movie! :)


Posted by Bob & Leilani Souza, Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments (Souza Realty 916.408.5500) about 9 years ago

Carra-  I am going to take 3 generations to see this now....& I am forward this to about 5 of my friends they don't live in AZ, but you never know who knows who or moves in the larger world it can be small). 

Thank you...& I will re-blog if allowable (?) when I can allow more time to collect my thoughts to pass it forward.  I wanted to see this anyway as Tom Hanks & Julia Roberts are two in the my favorite list.  Now I'm convinced! :)  Thanks & there have several close to me that have worked extremely hard & have been devastated that gives me hope there is an uplifting message they can see.  What a great report & I will check back after the movie!

Posted by Pam Hills, ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work (Innovative Artistry) about 9 years ago

Saw the movie -- I did wonder - Was it a "strategic default" when he'd lost his job, had no money and couldn't pay the house payment?  NOPE sounds like a perfect candidate for a short sale but that would not have been as good a movie.

Posted by Susan Goulding, Northern CA - Tracy & Mountain House Real Estate (Crown Key Realty, Tracy & Mountain House Real Estate) about 9 years ago

I was looking at this before as a movie to see this weekend. I now know that I will definately go and see it. Forrest Gump is actually one of my favorite movies of all time. And Julia Roberts is usually always great as well! 

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Gretchen~ it is very sad what is happening and this movie help validate that it is ok for bad thing to happen and move on but everyone helping everyone makes the journey so much easier. 

Leilani ~  It was funny because I thought it would just be sweet.. it is but POWERFUL!  I have seen some of the tv interviews of Tom Hanks and he really die want to make a difference... the critcs kind of ate the movive up but they just did NOT GET IT!

Pam ~  I will be excited to read what you thought too!  Sweet thought from you thank you..... It is just fun when we can share lessons with one another so you are rally paying it forward :)  Yes, Please.. reblog!  We have to help the movie out as the other critics don't agree with me :)  You have the inside scoop now and will be looking for all those messages!

Susan ~  Good reasoning on the short sale....... Larry just talked to the econ professor and made the decision to give the keys back and move on!  Way less negative energy by just getting out.. 0 is just 0.  Thank you.

Rosilie ~ You will not be dissapointed. Thank you.

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 9 years ago

Carra - I knew the movie was out and that Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks were in the movie, but that's about all I knew.  Now, I'm interested in seeing it.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 9 years ago

Christine ~  Will really want to see what you say... about the message to home owners and "Strategic Default"  Big message there to millions who might never have even thought about that!  So come back and let us know... Thank YOU! 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 9 years ago

Carra: It's not unusual for me to "get the message" in a movie. How on earth do you take notes in a dark theater? Can you read them afterwards? LOL I wasn't expecting all this message - just a feel good, funny movie with 2 of my favorites. I usually wait for cable, bu will make the effort to see this. Thanks for your thoughtful post!

Posted by Anne Costello about 9 years ago

Carra - thanks for the in-depth review, now I can go see it this weekend.

Posted by Stephen P. Panczak, Sr, MBA, Realtor, Property Mgm't, LCAM about 9 years ago

Hi Carra: Great Review! I'd not decided whether to see it or not - not a lot gleaned from the previews. Thansk for taking the time to put this up with so many positive take-aways. Certainly looks interesting now.

Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) almost 9 years ago

Carra, I've been thinking about seeing this movie and you have just made up my mind. Thanks!!!

Posted by Jack Rockwell, "Know How Is Key" (The Rockwell Group at Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

I will get back to each of you but right tihs minute I think I am sharing news breaking news!  This has been in the works.. but announced yesterday!

Cool AR story! Tim Stephens commented on one of my blog posts last week... he was asking questions about AR and so I did a post to answer his questions... we have connected on facebook and this morning on twitter... I was reading his feed and Look what I found:

Tim Stephens
Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) almost 9 years ago

Anne ~  I have a steno pad and a sharpie.. YOu can see the lines with the light of the movie.. so I just have to make sure I do not write on top of each sentence!  Let us know what you think!

Stephen ~  Gald to share.. and excited to hear what you think!

Karen ~  I think we think alike and have wonderful husbands who put up with our quirkiness!  Can't wait to see what you think!

Bruce ~  I thought the exact same thing with the previews :)  we think alike... Come back and let us know how you liked it!

Jack ~  Glad to be of service.. come back and let us know!

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) almost 9 years ago

Carra, that's one reason why I don't read what movie critics have to say. :)


Posted by Bob & Leilani Souza, Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments (Souza Realty 916.408.5500) almost 9 years ago

Leilani ~  Right!  Did you see it?  What did you think?

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) almost 9 years ago

You nailed the critics. I think they live in a different world than I do. I almost refuse to see a movie the critics love lol If I want to know whether I'll like a movie, I go to and see what the viewers think. Anything B+ and above is usually a good time.

Posted by Donnie McKinney, Donnie McKinney CCIM, Purchase Realty Group (Purchase Realty Group) almost 9 years ago

Donnie ~  I have never agreed with the critics either!  I guess we all just have different values.. it's what makes the world go round!  Are you going to see this one?  If you do come back and let us know what you think!Thank you for stopping by!


Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) almost 9 years ago

I have learned a long time ago, that the movies a critic praises is never worth seeing. Good thing you are not a movie critic Carra. Great post my friend.

Posted by Aubrey Kahn (Firm Foundation Home Inspections Inc) almost 9 years ago

Aubrey ~  Thank you so much and it is a good thing I am not a critic... I would not "FIT" in with the in crowd that is for sure.... I think differnt:) 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) almost 9 years ago

Well I finally got the opportunity to see it!!  It was every bit what you said & it helped to have two of my favorite actors in it.  I was late, but couldn't get there but because of what you said I drove 3 counties when the opportunity came up to go see it :)!  Thanks for the review.  (it was across from my doctor's office today :)..)

Posted by Pam Hills, ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work (Innovative Artistry) almost 9 years ago

Pam ~  So glad you came back to share... glad you liked it!  Have you seen Cowboys and Aliens? 

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) almost 9 years ago

I literally love the last 10 minutes of this movie more than the whole movie it self! Amazing!!!! [:)]

Posted by Tom Hanks about 5 years ago