I think it should be obvious that we're living in economically difficult times. The economic crash of 2008 was disastrous for the United States and its middle-to-lower class families. This film, released 3 years after that economic crash, was certainly very timely at the moment of its release. Obama's presidency put a dent in the unemployment rates (as much as other parties will refute that, the numbers don't lie), but it's still not smooth sailing for a lot of people. There was a movie like this I saw a few months ago and it was called Get a Job. It looked at different people, mostly millenials, struggling to find a steady job that pays well and makes them happy. It also looked at someone who's a little bit older and how difficult it was for them to get back in the game and finding a job at a more advanced age. Ironically speaking, the older character in Get a Job was played by Bryan Cranston, who plays a character in this movie as well. I think Get a Job failed in the fact that it tried to focus on too many characters' stories without putting much detail into any one of them. I think this movie simplifies that, since it focuses on Larry's journey back to college to get a degree for himself so he won't get downsized again. I'll be honest, the only reason I probably even gave this a shot is because I love Tom Hanks. That's really the only reason honestly. I love Tom Hanks and, even if the film might not be great, his likability will make any movie an easy watch. And that's precisely what I can say about this movie. This might be one of the most inoffensive movies I have ever seen. It's about as harmless and as friendly as it can possibly be. And, really, that might be one of the best things about it. There's not many movies like this out there, films that, really, have no antagonistic characters (outside of Larry getting fired right after the movie starts). The tone of the movie is very positive. Larry, while struggling after a divorce and now losing his job, always maintains a positive attitude about what he's doing. Larry befriends everyone around him, falls in love with his teacher, etc, etc. I don't wanna say this is bubblegum pop, because I've seen some bubbly South Korean rom-coms that fit that description more than this one, but it's pretty harmless. There's nothing inherently wrong with a film being harmless, but it just has to be one that's entertaining to watch. And, honestly, outside of Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, George Takei and Bryan Cranston (in the scenes that he is in), there's really not much to this at all in the slightest. And I mean in terms of comedy. There's a few chuckles, for sure, but there's not what I would say a consistent tone as it relates to the comedy. I don't really think they could have mined for gold with this concept. It's just not something that's set up for that. But I do think the film fails to capture what people going through this are really going through. Though, to be fair, I don't think that's what they were going for. And I've always said that you can't judge a movie for not having something that it was never intended to have. So I know I sound like a hypocrite having said what I said. The casting is certainly solid, but I think the scripting leaves a lot of the heavy lifting to Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. As I mentioned, they're great together. Their chemistry is easygoing and enjoyable, but I believe that even two seasoned actors such as Tom and Julia need something more to work with. And Tom co-wrote (and directed) the damn thing. Again, I get that he (and Nia Vardalos) wanted something a little lighter. Something where you can just watch and not have to worry about antagonizing villains or anything of the sort. They didn't wanna bring you down past Larry getting fired at the beginning. Everything after that is positive in tone and I can appreciate that. We do need films like this. Shit can't always be bleak and depressing, there needs to be a balance. I just wish they had made more of an effort to craft a more intriguing story with characters that have some semblance of depth. I would say that this movie is watchable, but it's not what I would call average either. It falls just slightly short of that. I can't really recommend it, but it gets the job done if you're looking for something that's easy to watch without much in the way of conflict. I love you, Mr. Hanks, but this certainly isn't one of your best films.