I haven’t seen Larry Crowne, but I saw the trailer twice. And it was awful enough to inspire me to write my own Larry Crown.
It’s early morning. A bus pulls out of frame to reveal Larry Crown, a mid-50′s Tom Hanks. He wears beige slacks, a checkered shirt, a sailor’s cap, and a brown jacket. He crosses a busy intersection to reach the U-Mart parking lot. Therein, Crown grabs hold of a shopping cart and pushes it quickly, gains momentum, and hops on– riding the cart toward the U-Mart entrance. Along the way, fellow employees shout, “Larry!” and, “Hey!” not because they want to say hello, but because Larry is reckless. The cart hits the curb with a thump right as Mr. Warner, the store’s manager, steps out to greet Larry.
Mr. Warner: Larry, today’s your lucky day.
Larry: Everyday’s my lucky day, Mr. Warner.
Mr. Warner: Now, Larry, you know that proposition doesn’t make any sense because being lucky can only exist in juxtaposition to being unlucky.
Larry: I don’t understand what that means, Mr. Warner. I’m just an ex-Navy cook getting by on charm and optimism. I ain’t got any of that fancy learnin’ that you got.
Mr. Warner: Well, Larry, let me show you something that you can understand.
Mr. Warner extends his hand, within which is a nametag that reads “Larry Crown: Manager”.
Larry: Manager! But I’ve been a stock boy almost half as long as I’ve been alive.
Mr. Warner: That’s right, Larry. You know this store better than your own two hands, so no one’s more qualified than you.
Larry: Shucks, Mr. Warner! You’re so much nicer than the admiral on that Navy boat. He stuck a pin right in my chest!
Mr. Warner leads Larry toward the store’s side.
Mr. Warner: Well, this nametag’s gonna go on a nice, button down shirt. I’ve deducted the cost of the shirt from your pay.
Larry: Wow, Thanks Mr. Warner!
The two stop in front of a parking spot.
Mr. Warner: And even though you don’t own a car, you get your own parking space.
Larry: Wow! I can use it for picnic lunches.
Mr. Warner turns around and faces an unmarked, steel door.
Mr. Warner: That’s right; and you get to use the manager’s entrance.
Larry takes off his hat and holds it to his chest.
Larry: With all due respect, Mr. Warner, I’ll always be one of the enlisted staff even if I’m serving as an officer, so I’d still like to use the main entrance like everyone else.
Mr. Warner: You got it, Larry. I don’t suppose you’d want to keep stock boy’s pay though.
Larry puts his hat back on.
Larry: No sir!
Mr. Warner: Okay! But let’s go in through here this time because we’re already here and it’d be a waste of time for us to go around to the front entrance.
Larry: I think it’d take as much time to get to the front entrance as it’s taking us to talk about what we’re doing.
Mr. Warner: So we’re taking twice as long, then?
Larry: That’s a real head scratcher, Mr. Warner. I’ll just follow you in.
The two go inside. They walk through a hallway lit by fluorescent bulbs and enter the managers’ office.
Mr. Warner: You’ll be spending a lot of time in here, Larry, filling out paper work, but you’ll also be on the floor making sure things are running smoothly.
Larry: Great, when do I start?
Mr. Warner: Today. Here’s your first assignment.
Mr. Warner hands Larry a sheet of paper.
Mr. Warner: I’ll go get that button down shirt.
Mr. Warner walks out of the room. Larry begins to read his assignment. “If you put a product up by the entrance, sales increase by 30%. Currently, steal tumblers are selling at a rate of ten per hour. Tumblers come twelve per box. We keep twenty on hand at all times and get a shipment of two more boxes every morning. How many days can we keep the tumblers up front before we have only eight boxes at the end of the day?”
A look of panic takes over Larry’s face. Donna enters the room.
Donna: Hey, Larry, congrats on the promotion. I got an assignment for you when you’re done with that one.
Donna hands Larry a sheet of paper and exits the room. It reads, “We’re going to be taking a group photo today. We want everyone to stand in order of tallest to shortest from left to right. Donna is taller than Mr. Warner, but shorter than Larry. Larry is twice as tall as Samuel. Samuel is taller than Rhonda but shorter than Donna. Mr. Warner is taller than Loraine. What will the order be?”
Larry’s lip begins to quiver.
Donna pops back into the room.
Donna: Hey, Larry, do we have off on Bastille Day?
Larry explodes! He screams, pushes Donna out of the room, and locks the door. A few moments pass and Mr. Warner is knocking on the door.
Mr. Warner: Larry, are you okay, Larry? Open the door, Larry. Come on out.
Mr. Warner: Come on, Larry. Don’t make me use the key.
Larry: Don’t come in here!
Mr. Warner: I’m coming in on three, Larry. One.
Mr. Warner: Two.
Mr. Warner: Three!
The door is pushed open and Mr. Warner steps inside. He finds Larry sitting under a desk, curled up in the fetal position. Mr. Warner crouches at Larry’s side.
Mr. Warner: What’s wrong, Larry?
Larry: This job is too hard! I can’t do it.
Mr. Warner: Oh, Larry. We’re gonna have to let you go then.
Larry: I can’t have my old job back?
Mr. Warner: No, Larry, we already hired a replacement.
Larry: But I’ve worked here since the 80′s!
Mr. Warner: I know, Larry, and I’m sorry to let you go. Juan, please escort Señor Larry out of the store.
A small, Hispanic boy with a bowl haircut and a light mustache enters and leads Larry away by the elbow.
Mr. Warner: ¡Vámonos! ¡Vámonos!
Larry approaches a two-story house. He unlocks the door and rings a brass dinner bell that hangs from the ceiling. Larry is soon joined by a Mexican family (mother, father, grandmother, two little boys, a baby, and a seventeen-year-old girl) and two college students (a white guy and girl with dreadlocks, both wearing ponchos, and both strumming guitars).
Larry: Jaybird, Starshine, Espiritos. I lost my job today, so I won’t be able to afford this month’s rent.
Jaybird: Oh no, Mr. Larry! What will you do?!
Larry: I’m going to move back in with my parents.
Mrs. Espirito: That’s a really bummer, Larry man.
Larry: I know, Esmeralda, I know. Before I go, I just wanted to express my gratitude. Jaybird, Starshine: thank you for teaching me about my oneness with the world.
Larry gives Jaybird and Starshine hugs.
Larry: Ramon, Esmeralda: thank you for teaching me about the richness of Mexican culture.
Larry gives every one of the Espiritos a hug. He approaches the elder Espirito daughter and gives her a hug.
Larry: And, Marisol, sorry that I won’t be able to deflower you on your eighteenth birthday. Well, I’m going to go pack my things and go. Goodbye forever.
Cut to Larry’s parents room: two twin beds, each of which holds one of Larry’s parents, Harold and Miriam. Adjacent to each bed is a nightstand with a lamp.
Miriam: Larry, you comfortable?
Larry: Yes, mom.
Miriam: You got plenty of pillows and covers?
Larry: Yes, mom.
Miriam: You got enough room?
Larry: Yes, mom!
Harold: Miriam, just let him be.
Miriam: I just want to make sure he’s comfortable under the bed.
Larry: I’m comfortable!
Miriam: Not so loud, Larry. You don’t want the wait staff to know you’re here. It’s bad enough they’re stealing from me; I don’t want them kicking my son out too.
Harold: They’re not stealing from you.
Miriam: Then where’d my Tobelrone go, Harold? Where’s my Toblerone?!
Harold: Euch, be quiet with that. You know I ate it! And no one’s going to be kicking our son out so long as you’re not talking so much.
Miriam: Oh, sorry. Goodnight Larry.
Larry reaches his arm out from under his mother’s bed and pats her arm.
Larry: Goodnight mom; goodnight dad.
Harold: Goodnight, son.
They turn off the lights.
The next morning, Larry and his parents are eating breakfast in the dining hall.
Harold: What are you gonna do, son?
Larry: Walk around town and look for a job.
Harold: Not smelling like that you’re not.
Larry: I smell?
Harold: Like a pumpkin that’s been shit in.
Larry: Well, where can I take a shower?
Miriam: We don’t have showers here, honey. We all get sponge baths.
Larry: Hmm. Maybe I can get one of those.
Larry looks up at an overweight, African American member of the staff. Lucinda looks back at Larry hatefully. Her nostrils flare and steam escapes from them as if she were a raging bull.
Larry: Maybe not.
Miriam slide’s Larry her Jell-O.
Miriam: Larry, I picked out all the pineapple for you. I know how much you hate pineapple.
Larry: Thanks mom.
Larry takes the Jell-O, which has been picked apart to the point that it looks like it’s been run through a Jell-O meat grinder. Larry slurps up the Jell-O and stands up.
Larry: Thank you two for the delicious meal and the excellent company. Now, if you excuse me, I’m gonna go find me a shower and then find me some work.
Larry kisses both of his parents on the forehead and walks out of the room. He passes Lucinda, who snarls as Larry passes.
Larry: Have a great day, Lucinda.
As Larry steps out of the retirement home, he puts on his navy cap. Harry Nilsson’s Everybody’s Talkin’ (the song from Midnight Cowboy) begins to play.
Larry, walking around town, passes a bank, a restaurant, and an auto body shop. All say, “Not hiring,” in their windows. At some point, Larry finds himself walking onto a college campus. He sees three young, muscular guys walking out of a gym with towels draped on their shoulders.
Larry: You can wash the sweat off your backs in there?
Guy 1: Uh, yeah, they got showers.
Larry walks inside the gym. He’s about to step on the gym floor when an employee stops him.
Employee: Sir, I’m going to need to see your student ID.
Larry: Oh, where do I get one of those?
Employee: Wickham Hall. Out the door, down the street, second building on the right.
Larry: Thank you.
Larry heads to Wickham Hall. Once inside, Larry walks down a corridor and sees a sign for ID Cards. He enters the room and makes his way through a queue. He approaches a teller.
Larry: I’m here to get an ID.
Teller: I’m going to need to see proof of registration.
Larry: Oh, where do I get one of those?
Teller: Dwyer Hall. Out the door and two buildings over to the right.
Larry walks to Dwyer Hall. Once inside, he walks through another queue and approaches a teller in the registrar’s office.
Larry: Hi, I need to get proof of registration.
Teller: Are you registered?
Larry: No, where do I do that?
The teller points to the computer next to hers, which has a sign hanging over it that reads “registration”. Larry walks through another queue and approaches the registration sign. The previous teller steps to the right to greet Larry. As he speaks, it dawns on Larry that he’s about to embark on an incredible journey.
Larry: Hi, I’m Larry Crown… and I’m here to sign-up for college!
The music swells.
Teller (monotonously): Fill out this form.
Larry begins filling out the form. He looks up from his work.
Larry: So, what classes do you take?
Teller (monotonously): I don’t take classes; I’m an adult.
The music swells again and Larry returns to his form. He slides it forward when finished.
Teller (monotonously): Thank you and welcome to college.
The teller takes the form, types the information into the computer, and hands Larry proof of registration.
Teller (monotonously): Take this downstairs to take your placement exam. Or do it whenever. I don’t care.
Larry walks down the hall and takes a right into a stairwell that leads him to the basement. He walks through another queue until he reaches a new teller. He hands her his registration.
Teller: Great, I’ll have you set up on computer number three. Take some scrap paper and a pencil. Directions will be on the screen.
Larry looks over at the testing center. Through a large window, Larry can see rows of computers and several empty desks. A few students are hard at work. He takes a pencil, paper, and walks into the testing center. He sits at his designated computer and activates the monitor by moving the mouse. When asked whether he wants to take the verbal or math based test, Larry selects math.
The question begins, “If you put a product up by the entrance, sales increase by 30%. Currently, steal tumblers are selling at a rate of ten per hour.” Larry looks at the teller through the window, his face stricken by panic. He hits “next” on the screen and reads a question that begins with, ” We’re going to be taking a group photo today of day. We want everyone to stand in order of tallest to shortest from left to right.”
Through the window, the teller watches as Larry props a chair up against the door and hides under his computer station. One of the students in the testing center gets up and takes down the chair, letting in a suited man that escorts Larry out of the room. Larry soon finds himself in a guidance counselor’s office.
Counselor: So, Mr. Crown, having a little test anxiety?
Larry: Just a little, yes.
Counselor: Well, that’s okay. No need to take that test now. Have you thought about what courses you’d like to take?
Larry: No, I just got in here today.
Counselor: First time at college?
Larry: Yes, sir.
Counselor: Ah, congratulations on taking the first step of the rest of your life. What you call living now will pale in comparison to what you’re going to start doing come first day of class. Now, unfortunately, we’re part way through the semester already, but, lucky for you, we’ve got the ten week session starting this week. So, how about we sign you up for some intro courses to get you used to college life.
Larry: That sounds great.
Counselor: Okay, then.
The counselor does some clicking around on his computer.
Counselor: Well, I’ve got a public speaking class that starts tomorrow afternoon. It’s one of our more practically oriented requirements–teaches you how to convince, demonstrate, explain, and generally orate.
Larry: Sign me up!
Counselor: Great. With Miss Donnoway. She’s a real beaut’. Great head of hair and a nice, swinging set of tits that she really likes to…sorry, got a little carried away. You don’t mind, do you?
Larry: Hey, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, right?
The counselor laughs like a braying mule.
Counselor: Fe-haw-he-haw. I’d love to pop one on ol’ Mary, if you know what I mean?
Larry: Okay, now I’m uncomfortable.
Counselor (terse): Right. How’s Intro to Economics on Mondays and Psych 101 Tuesdays?
Larry: Sure, whatever gets me out of this office faster.
The counselor taps away at his keyboard.
Counselor: Alright, you are good to go.
Larry: Great, thanks.
Larry shows up at the nursing home, expecting to find his parents in their room.
Larry: Mom, Dad, I signed up for college.
He pushes open the door, which is slightly ajar, and discovers Lucinda cleaning out an empty room.
Larry: Where are my parents?
Lucinda: Not here, Larry.
Larry begins to cry.
Larry: Oh, no, my parents are dead! This is so awful! Why why why?! I loved them so much even though they were old.
Lucinda: Larry, they were never here to begin with.
Larry: Nooooo! I was visiting ghosts. Oh, God, why?!
Lucinda: No, I mean you’re an idiot. They’re in the room next door.
Larry: Oh, okay. Sorry.
Larry knocks on the room next door. His mother opens the door. Larry hugs her with great strength, enters the room, and then clasps his father on the shoulders.
Larry: Oh, mom, dad! I thought you were ghosts. I’m so glad you’re okay.
Miriam: Honey, whatever do you mean? You’re all flush.
Larry: I guess I’m not thinking straight cause I’m so excited. Mom, dad: I’m going to college!
Miriam clasps her heart with joy.
Miriam: My Larry, a college boy.
Harold: That’s my boy!
Harold pats Larry’s hand.
Harold: You still smell like a pumpkin that’s been shit in, but much worse. Much, much worse.
Larry: Well, I did walk like five miles there and another five back.
Harold: You gonna stink everyday?
Larry: Nah, I know where to get me a deal on a ride.
Cut to Larry haggling with Cedric the Entertainer at a yard sale over an old scooter.
Larry: Come on, Paul, we were neighbors for how long?
Paul: Seven years.
Larry: Seven years! You telling me you can’t sell me this scooter for less than $1,200?
Paul: I don’t want to, Larry! If it were anyone else I could get more money for it, but I like you. So you askin’ me’s putting me in a real tight corner.
Larry: Aw, you’re a good man, Paul. I knew you wouldn’t cheat an old friend.
Paul (grumbling): Yeah, whatever. You can take it for a ride if you want.
Larry approaches the scooter. He turns the key and caresses the accelerator.
Larry: And to make it go I just turn this, right?
Larry turns the accelerator and the scooter shoots off into a table of items, pulling Larry along for the ride and throwing him into a nearby set of chairs.
Larry: Well, it’s got power!
Paul: That is so stupid and careless, Larry! You knocked over all my shit. Who knows how much of it you broke. Good God, you are awful!
Larry: Don’t take the lord’s name in vain, Paul.
Paul: It’s not in vain! It makes me feel better to imagine you dead or at least severely injured or malnourished.
Larry gets up, brushing dirt of his pants.
Paul: Yeah, like after wandering off into the woods for too long and getting lost; or running out of gas after a long drive. You get real hungry, and your stomach starts to hurt. It goes for days! You live off rainwater and bugs for a while and then someone finds you. Malnourished.
Larry: Gee, that’s a little severe, Paul.
Paul raises his hands in the air and slaps them to his sides in frustration.
Paul: Well, made me feel better.
Larry picks the scooter up.
Larry: Whatever works, Paul. Whatever works.
Larry walks the scooter off Paul’s yard and onto his driveway.
Larry: Now, you know I can’t pay you ’till I get my last work check, right?
Paul: Eh, whatever, Larry. I know you’re good for it.
Larry gets on the scooter, puts on the helmet, and revs the engine.
Larry: Thanks, Paul. This is really gonna help me out with school.
Paul: Not as much as a shower would!
Larry starts driving away.
Larry: One thing at a time, buddy. One thing at a time!
Larry pops a wheelie down the street. Paul shakes his head.
Paul: You’ve got a lot to learn, Larry Crown; you’ve got a lot to learn.
Miss Dalloway (Julia Roberts) enters a sparsely populated classroom from the rear. She begins to count the students.
Miss Dalloway: State law requires that no less than ten students can be in any classroom and this one’s only got nine. Class’s canceled!
Larry bursts into the room from the front entrance.
Larry: Larry Crown’s here to learn!
Miss Dalloway lets out an exasperated sigh and walks to the front of the room. Larry sits down attentively.
Miss Dalloway: Welcome to public speaking. I know that most of you talk every day, but how often do you talk to thirty people at once? If often, then this class will be a breeze for you; otherwise, you might find it more challenging than you expected to talk to nine people that you know. And you will get to know each other. Right now! One at a time, I’m going to ask you to stand up, introduce yourself, and tell us a little something. Starting with you.
Miss Dalloway points at Miguel, a young, man of Hebrew dissent. Miguel stands up, his hands in his pocket, and his eyes to the floor.
Miguel: Hello, my name is Miguel, which is Spanish for Michael. I think. I’m not actually Spanish, so I’m not sure. My parents are Sephardic Jews, but we’re not practicing. So, really, I’m just a brown guy who wants to be an actuary.
Miguel sits down. Susan, a stocky woman over thirty, bolts upright. She keeps her hands at chest height. When Susan speaks, she goes in and out of iambic pentameter.
Susan: Weeeeelll, my name’s Susan. I’m a stay at home mom who loves taking classes. I’ve taken enough courses for at least five degrees, but I can’t get any of them until I take public speaking! Sooooo, at the end of this term, I’ll be able to graduate as a biology, chemistry, physics, math, and interior design major.
Susan sits down. Jerry, an over-fifty biker who loves America, wiggles upward, like a snake being charmed out of a wicker basket. His fists are clenched and when he speaks he acts as though he’s trying to get his audience to flinch, which means that, from time to time, he just jerks his whole body like an overweight, gray bearded cat that’s getting ready to pounce. Jerry’s also got bandana on, leather pants that boggle the mind, and a chain wallet.
Jerry: Hi, I’m Jerry and I love America. I never served in the war, but I’ve fired plenty of guns and launched a grenade or two. But only at people! Never at cows or animals cause I don’t eat meat. Oh, and I hate Falco.
Falco, also an over fifty biker, gets up like he’s about to fight Jerry, but he’s restrained by the seat he’s in–he’s fat and gets stuck in it. Jerry sits down while Falco remains standing, his seat inches above the ground.
Falco: I’m Falco. Being in this class is part of my parole. I’ve let myself go since getting out of the slammer. I sometimes write poetry and consider Byron and Tennyson my favorites. I’m doing an independent study on Elliot, Pound, and other ex-pat poets to finish out my degree. Oh, and I hate Jerry and love America.
Jerry jerks at Falco from his seat, but doesn’t get up. Falco sits down and Kevin stands up.
Kevin: Hey, I’m Kevin. I just graduated from William Jefferson Clinton High School. I’m taking this class ’cause I have to.
Kevin sits down. Miss Dalloway, who has been sinking further and further down her seat with each passing moment, is currently crumpled under a desk, trying to light a cigarette with a Zippo. Michelle stands up.
Michelle: Hi, I’m Michelle. I went to high school with Kevin. Hi Kevin!
Michelle waves to Kevin.
Michelle: I was a cheerleader, so I don’t actually know who Kevin is. But I recognized the name of the school when he was talking.
Michelle sits down and Charlene stands up.
Charlene: Hi, I’m Charlene and I don’t think there’s any smoking allowed in buildings.
Miss Dalloway: There won’t be any smoking if I can’t get this lighter to work.
Charlene: You said that in a way that made it seem like we want you to be able to smoke. I don’t. I think it’s gross. Oh, and I also graduated from Clinton, but that was a couple years ago. Go Beagles!
Michelle kicks her arms and legs up in support. Miss Dalloway gives up on her cigarette and stands up.
Sylvester Balvaggio stands up as Charlene sits.
Sylvester: Hi, I’m Sylvester Balvaggio. I used to teach at Clinton high school, but I left after becoming disillusioned with the American Education system.
Michelle: Uhh, weren’t you fired for calling your students the F-word?
Sylvester: Yeah, that too.
Sylvester grumbles, “Buncha fucks,” under his breath as he sits down. Salvador Elizondo stands up.
Carlos: I heard that, Vaggio.
Sylvester: You’re all a buncha fucks, happy?!
Sal: Ehh, you’re a buncha fucks yourself.
Salvador points at Sylvester.
Sal: Not you.
Salvador gestures at the class.
Sal: I don’t know if you’re fucks or not. Can you say fucks in class?
Miss Dalloway: No, get it out of your system now.
The students curse in unison.
Kevin: Fuck fuck fuck.
Jerry (operatically): Fuuuuuuuck!.
Michele: Give me an F! Give me a U! Give me a C! Give me a K! What does the spell?!
Everyone (except Larry) screams “Fuck” at once, including Miss Dalloway, who speaks with unenthusiasm. She begins to pantomime blowing her brains out, reconsiders, and pantomimes shooting the class with a machine gun.
Sal: Anyway, you can call me Sal.
Sal sits down and Larry stands up. He takes his Navy hat off and holds it with both hands at crotch level, crinkling it nervously.
Larry: Hi, I’m Larry. This is the most people I’ve ever spoken in front of at once, unless you count screaming, “Meatloaf!” in front of hundreds of men. I was a cook in the Navy. I also once introduced Meatloaf at a USO show. I don’t know how to talk about my military days, so maybe this class will help with that. Thank you, Love Larry.
Larry sits down and Miss Dalloway stands up.
Miss Dalloway: Now I’m gonna teach you a thing or two about public speaking. The first thing is to make eye contact with your audience.
Miss Dalloway makes eye contact with every one of the students, jolting them up right with a single glance. Larry nearly falls of his seat. Miss Dalloway bends forward to scrutinize Larry, revealing her cleavage.
Miss Dalloway: Are you okay, Mr. Crown?
When Larry looks up and sees Miss Dalloway’s breasts, he nearly falls over, catching himself and his hat at the last minute.
Larry: You’re fine.
The class laughs.
Larry: I mean I’m fine.
Miss Dalloway nods and stands upright. She steps in front of the podium.
Miss Dalloway: When you’re speaking in public, you want to stand straight and project; you don’t want to keep your hands in your pockets; you want to speak distinctly and with a steady cadence; and you don’t want to seem bored by your own message, even if you think it’s boring.
Miss Dalloway looks up at the clock.
Miss Dalloway: Usually I have a drink to help me get through class, but I forgot to have one today. So, class is dismissed early! Pick up a copy of the book and read the first two chapters. We’ll be discussing it next week. Everyone leaves the classroom.
In the teacher’s lounge, Miss Dalloway pours ice, rum, and Robitussin into a blender. She pours some into a glass and the rest into a water bottle. She takes a sip, catches the time in a nearby clock, pours the rest of her drink into the water bottle, and hurries out the door.
At the gym entrance, Larry runs into Miss Dalloway.
Larry: I’m surprised to see you here.
Miss Dalloway: Why’s that?
Larry: The smoking, the drinking.
Miss Dalloway: A woman can have many addictions; but I assure you work isn’t one of mine.
Miss Dalloway laughs, raises her booze filled water bottle to Larry in a toast, takes a swig, and hurries inside.
Cut to Larry, under his mother’s bed, reading his public speaking book.
Larry (in his head): Jerry Seinfeld observes that if public speaking is people’s number one fear that –
Larry has fallen asleep at this point, with the book resting on his chest, but the voice over of him reading continues.
Larry: If you’re going to be at a funeral you’re more likely to want to be in the casket than delivering the eulogy. That’s funny, but public speaking is no laughing matter.
Larry is dreaming of himself in public speaking class. The room is crowded with students when Miss Dalloway enters.
Miss Dalloway: Today, public speaking’s going to be public fucking.
Larry: I wouldn’t be comfortable with that.
Miss Dalloway: Shut up, Larry.
Miss Dalloway starts pulling on Larry’s arm, dragging him to the front of the room while repeating his name.
Miss Dalloway: Larry, Larry, Larry.
Slowly, Miss Dalloway’s voice morphs into that of his mother’s.
Miriam: Larry, Larry, Larry.
Miriam is nudging Larry with her shoe.
Miriam: Come on, Larry, they want to clean the room.
Larry: Huh, what?
Harold: Get up!
Larry gets up and bumps his head on bed.
Larry: Ow, my head!
Larry rubs the top of his head as he scootches out from under the bed.
Larry: What’s for breakfast?
Harold: You slept through it.
Miriam: But here’s ten dollars; go get yourself a scrambled egg.
Inside a diner, a waitress is taking Larry’s order.
Waitress: What do you want?
Larry: Bacon, eggs, and a job.
Waitress: How many different ways can you make eggs?
Larry: Over easy, scrambled, poached, omelets–
Waitress: Great, start making ‘em; you’re hired.
Larry stares with disbelief.
Waitress: I can hire people. Now get to work!
As Larry walks toward the back of the diner, the patrons he passes become students and he’s making his way out of a large lecture hall, with economics 101 written on the blackboard. When Larry gets outside, it’s already dark. Soon he’s passing a bus stop and sees that Miss Dalloway is waiting for her ride. Larry pulls up in his scooter and takes off his helmet.
Larry: Hey, you need a ride?
Miss Dalloway says nothing.
Larry: It’s Larry from class.
Miss Dalloway: I know who you are; I’m just taking it all in. And, no thanks, I’m fine.
Larry: Aw, come on. When’s that bus getting here?
Larry hears a honking and gets out of the bus’s way. The bus comes to a stop, the door opens, and Miss Dalloway sees that it’s packed with people, with no room for her to sit. She waves the bus away.
Miss Dalloway: Alright, Laurence, I’ll get on your jalopy.
Larry: Great. Now, I don’t have a helmet, so if we have an accident, just shield your face with my body.
Miss Dalloway gets on. Larry puts on his helmet.
Larry: Hold on tight!
Miss Dalloway: Does this thing even go fast enough for that to–mattterrr!
Larry starts driving and soon Miss Dalloway is clutching his chest, her hair blowing in the wind.
Larry: I don’t know where I’m going!
Miss Dalloway: Just drive toward the old movie theater. I live in the apartments behind it.
Larry rounds the corner and soon they’ve arrived at their destination. Miss Dalloway hops off the bike.
Miss Dalloway: Thank you, Laurence.
She starts walking toward her front door.
Larry: My friends call me Larry.
Miss Dalloway: Do you not like being called Laurence, Laurence?
Larry: I don’t mind, it’s just that–
Miss Dalloway: Goodnight then, Laurence. Hope you’re doing your reading!
Miss Dalloway goes inside her house. The next day Larry is cooking up eggs at the diner. He sees Miss Dalloway come in, sit down at a booth, and cup her head with her hands. Larry walks up to her and pours her a coffee.
Larry: Tough night?
Miss Dalloway looks up at Larry.
Miss Dalloway: Let’s just say one of my addictions got the better of me. You work here?
Larry: Man’s gotta eat.
From the kitchen, a coworker calls to Larry.
Coworker: Larry! Don’t walk away from your post!
Larry: Duty calls!
Larry walks off and a waitress comes to take Miss Dalloway’s order. Cut to public speaking class, where Larry is standing at the podium.
Larry: Five reasons why you should go out on a date with Larry Crown: by Larry Crown (that’s me!).
Larry clears his throat.
Larry: Five: Larry is likable! He’s affable, optimistic, and knows when and when not to crack a joke. Four: Larry is a veteran! Larry served in the US Navy as a cook, during which time he traveled around the world five times, fed two sitting presidents, and indirectly killed two people. Three: Larry is an award winner! While working at U-Mart, Larry was Employee of the Month a record breaking nine times! Two: Larry is good to his parents! Just ask them! And, the number one reason to date Larry Crown: Larry won’t judge you! Nothing’s a romance killer like a partner that’s always putting you down or trying to change you. Larry accepts you just as you are and he’ll be there for you when you need him. Plus, Larry’s a great cuddler. Just give him a squeeze!
Miss Dalloway: Class, are we convinced?
The class cheers half-heartedly.
Miss Dalloway: Alright, Larry, you heard the class. Meet us at the diner ’round seven.
As the students exit the classroom, Charlene pulls Larry aside.
Charlene: Larry, you can’t take the class out on a date looking like that!
Larry looks down at his out fit.
Larry: What’s wrong with how I look?
Charlene: Ugh, come on.
Charlene takes Larry by the hand and leads him toward a trailer in the parking lot.
Charlene: I make clothes, Larry, so I know a little something about not looking like a dork.
Larry: I look like a dork?
Charlene: Like a dorkasaurus.
Larry: A dorkasaurus?! But they’re extinct.
Charlene: That’s right, you’re the last one!
Charlene lifts the metal door of the trailer, revealing racks of clothes.
Larry: I can’t afford these threads.
Charlene: Don’t worry ’bout it.
Charlene picks clothes off the rack, handing Larry an all black outfit consisting of a shirt, blazer, and pair of pants.
Charlene: Get undressed and put these on.
Larry begins to undress when Charlene’s boyfriend Brad approaches. Larry is down to his white jockey shorts.
Charlene: Here comes my boyfriend, Brad.
Larry: Do you want me to get redressed real quick?
Larry finishes his question just as Brad walks into frame.
Brad: Nah, I’m comfortable with our relationship and my own sexuality. Your body neither threatens nor amuses me.
Larry: Not even if I shake my tighty whiteys in your face?
Larry shakes his rump at Brad and Charlene.
Charlene: I don’t find that amusing.
Brad: Me neither.
Larry gets dressed.
Charlene: Lookin’ sharp, Larry. Now get out there and win over that class!
Larry approaches the diner, where his class, including Charlene, is waiting for him. They all link arms and walk inside together. In the diner, Larry pushes a few tables together and pulls out a seat for each member of his class. He makes sure Jerry and Falco sit across from each other. Larry claps twice and the wait staff brings a salad out for each of the students. He sits down next to Miss Dalloway.
Larry: Miguel, could you say a prayer?
Miguel: Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Amen.
The class begins eating. A waitress pours wine into their glasses and soon the table is drinking, laughing, and enjoying themselves.
Charlene: You’re right, Larry, you are a great date!
Larry: You’re all going to have to fight over who gets to take me home.
The table erupts in laughter.
Larry: Seriously, though. Jerry. Falco. How can we put an end to your fighting?
Everyone at the table says, “Yeah,” in agreement.
Larry: What’s this conflict over in the first place?
Jerry and Falco answer at the same time.
Larry: Now, wait a minute, you two. You mean to tell me you don’t even agree what you’re fighting over?
Jerry: I guess not.
Falco: Seems to be that way.
Larry: Hmmm. Falco, didn’t Ezra Pound have to convince publishers to take a chance on T.S. Elliot?
Larry: Well, just think of me as Pound and Jerry as Eliot. Think you could take a chance on him?
Larry: And, Jerry. You’re a vegitarian. Don’t you owe Falco the same respect that you’d give a cow or a chicken?
Jerry: I guess.
Larry: Well, then it’s settled! You two love America. The least you can do is be decent to each other.
Jerry and Falco make eye contact.
Larry slowly begins chanting.
Larry: USA. USA. USA.
The rest of the class joins in.
Class: USA. USA. USA.
The class begins drumming on the table, increasing their tempo as they increase the fervor of their chant.
Class: USA! USA! USA!
The class is in an uproar, drumming and chanting. Falco and Jerry reach across the table and shake hands.
Everyone applauds. Cut to Larry walking Miss Dalloway back to her apartment.
Miss Dalloway: You know, Laurence, what you did tonight was really incredible.
Miss Dalloway: Yeah. You got two gang leaders to put aside their differences and maybe even become friends. Before they were policing each other, but this partnership will usher in a reign of crime and violence unlike this town has ever seen before.
Larry stops walking. His face is pale with terror.
Miss Dalloway: I’m just kidding! They’re senior citizens. The only havoc they’re wreaking is on the inside of their pants.
Larry: Miss Dalloway, you really had me there for a second.
They stop at Miss Dalloway’s door.
Miss Dalloway: Think if I play my cards right I could have you for longer?
Larry: Miss Dalloway?
Miss Dalloway: Kiss me.
Larry gives Miss Dalloway a gentle kiss. Miss Dalloway smiles and opens her front door.
Miss Dalloway: Goodnight, Laurence–I mean Larry. Thank you for the wonderful evening.
She closes the door and watches Larry through her peephole. Larry dances wildly, causing Miss Dalloway to laugh.
Miss Dalloway: You are so cute! I can see everything you’re doing.
Larry continues to dance and then covers the peephole with his palm.
Cut to Larry sitting at Paul’s coffee table, drinking a cappuccino. Larry takes a sip, which leaves him with a foam mustache.
Paul: How’s school?
Larry: I’m taking intro to economics, and intro to psychology, but those two aren’t as interesting as public speaking.
Larry: Yeah, I’ve got a thing for the professor. She’s real nice.
Larry pantomimes that Miss Dalloway has large breasts.
Larry: But she’s not without her problems.
Larry pantomimes drinking and then pantomimes crying.
Paul: Well, it looks like you’ve bounced back from losing your job.
Larry: Yep. School, new job, sleeping under my mother’s bed; it’s all good. And I even got your money.
Larry hands Paul a check.
Paul: I knew you were good for it. By the way, have you heard what’s going on at the U-Mart?
Larry leans in with interest. He takes another sip of his cappuccino, adding more foam to his mustache.
Larry: No, what?
Paul: The employees are on strike because the store kept replacing them with fourteen-year-old Mexican boys.
Paul: Yeah, but people keep crossing the picket line because of the low prices.
Larry: You can’t put a price on human dignity!
Paul: That’s real poetic, Larry. Hey, maybe now that you’ve got this college learning, you can talk some sense into ‘em down at the store?
Larry: You think I can?
Larry finishes his cappuccino and then stares fixedly at Paul. Suddenly, he darts upward and heads for the door.
Larry: Paul, you’re right. I’ve got to do something!
Cut to Larry on his scooter, leading a charge of elderly bikers into the U-Mart parking lot. Larry parks in front of the picket line. He takes off his helmet, revealing his foam mustache. Soon Larry’s greeted by Miss Dalloway and the rest of the public speaking class. Michele, dressed in her cheerleading outfit and carrying pom-poms, approaches Larry.
Michele: Larry, I got the old gang back together.
Behind Michele stands the rest of her cheerleading crew and a giant, felt beagle (Ed “Beagly” Jr, the high school’s mascot).
Michele: We’re one hundred percent behind you.
Larry takes Miss Dalloway by the elbow and walks her a few yards away from the crowd.
Larry: I don’t know what to do.
Miss Dalloway: You’ve got to give a speech, Larry, about what working with these people has meant to you.
Larry: I’m not ready.
Miss Dalloway: Larry, I’m gonna share a public speaking secret with you: it’s all about confidence. And you have plenty of reasons to be confident. You’ve already got an A in the class.
Larry: But it’s only been two weeks.
Miss Dalloway: I’ve already decided who’s getting what grades. Plus, you got the girl.
Miss Dalloway gives Larry a passionate kiss on the lips. Larry’s cappuccino mustache rubs off on Miss Dalloway, although Larry’s still got plenty left on his own face.
Miss Dalloway: Now go up there and be the hero you were born to be. Speak from the heart!
Larry stares at Miss Dalloway’s foam mustache.
Larry: You’ve got a little.
He motions toward his lip. Miss Dalloway rubs her face with her sleeve, removing the mustache. Larry smiles approvingly.
Miss Dalloway: Now get up there!
Larry walks toward the picket line. He grabs a microphone from Mr. Warner and climbs on top of a car. Larry turns on the microphone, which lets loose a wild howl. Larry steadies himself on the car and begins to speak.
Larry: Hi, I’m Larry Crown. I worked at U-Mart for thirteen years and they were some of the best years of my life. Every day that I or any other employees came in here was a day we knew we were making a difference in one of your lives. When you needed diapers for your baby, we were there; when you needed tires for your kid’s bike, we were there; when you needed chips and a banner for that graduation party, we were there; when you needed a drink after a hard day’s work, we were there; and when you needed a wreath to hang on that grave, we were there! From birth to death, we were with you every day, lending you a helping hand when you needed it most. And now we need you to be there for us.
U-Mart might be the building where you did your shopping, but ours were the faces that you saw. We were like your family, but you might have noticed that ol’ Uncle Larry is starting to look different. His face is getting younger, more tanned, and less familiar. That’s because that’s not Uncle Larry at all, but an undocumented Mexican laborer!
The audience boos.
Larry: Don’t boo! That’s just what U-Mart wants you to do. They want to keep you and the Mexicans apart. Sure, you can blame the Mexicans. After all, they took your jobs.
The audience shouts in agreement.
Larry: But it was U-Mart that handed those jobs over!
The audience collectively, “Huhs?”
Larry: That’s right! Rather than keep paying the people who made the difference in your life, U-Mart fired them and replaced them with someone they could pay significantly less.
The audience boos.
Larry: Boo you say? Boo? But then why do you keep shopping at U-Mart?! Put down your bags and say no to low prices because your family is not for sale!
The audience cheers uproariously and customers stream out of the U-Mart. Michele and her cheerleading friends chant, “U-Mart U-Suck!” Jerry, Falco, and the rest of the bikers rev their motorcycles in agreement. Mr. Ümart, the German owner of U-Mart, runs out of the store, the armpits of his blue, woolen suit stained with sweat.
Mr. Ümart (with German accent): Mr. Crown! Mr. Crown! You win! You win! I’ll give you anything want. Your old job, raises, you name it and it’s yours.
Larry hops off the car and hands off the megaphone to Mr. Warner. A crowd forms around Mr. Ümart and Larry.
Larry: Sorry, Mr. Ümart, you’re going to have to negotiate with Mr. Warner. I have a public speaking classto attend!
Larry walks into the crowd, finds Miss Dalloway, sweeps her into his arms, and kisses her on the lips. The crowd throws their arms into the air and cheers wildly, throwing their hands into the air. And now those hands are catching graduation caps and the camera pulls back to reveal that we’re at Larry’s commencement. Larry catches his hat, displaying his smile and foam cappuccino mustache to the crowd, where he spots his mother, father, and Miss Dalloway (now Mrs. Larry Crown), who’s holding a toddler. Miss Dalloway points at the crowd and mouths, “There’s daddy,” to the child.
Larry makes his way toward his family when he’s stopped by Mr. Ümart.
Mr. Ümart: Larry, now that you’ve graduated, would you please take your old stock boy job back?
As Larry answers, he realizes that he’s about to embark on yet another incredible journey.
Larry: I’m sorry, Mr. Ümart. I can’t do that. This is a two-year university; you know…I’ve got another two years of college!