Larry Crowne, a middle-aged Navy veteran, is fired from his job at a big-box store due to a lack of college education, despite his seniority and exemplary work. Larry, who is divorced and lives alone, cannot find a job and could lose his house. Larry’s neighbor, Lamar, advises him to enroll at East Valley Community College and get an education.
Subsisting on unemployment benefits and unable to afford to drive his SUV, Larry buys a scooter from Lamar. At the college, he becomes part of a colorful community of outcasts, also-rans, and the overlooked all trying to find a better future for themselves. Two of the classes he takes are speech, taught by Mercedes Tainot and economics, taught by Dr. Ed Matsutani. While he initially struggles in speech class, he does very well in economics.
Mercedes drinks at home after school because she is unhappily married to Dean, a former professor-turned-writer-turned-blogger. In reality, Dean spends his days looking at internet porn.
Larry’s economics classmate Talia invites him to join a club of scooter riders led by her boyfriend Dell Gordo. She also updates Larry’s home decor, hair style, and wardrobe. Larry’s friend Frank, who runs the diner, offers him a job to help make ends meet, as Larry had been a Navy cook.
After a night with Dean goes horribly wrong, Mercedes is left alone at a bus stop, where Larry and his scooter gang notice her. Larry offers her a ride home, which Mercedes reluctantly accepts. On their way home they witness Dean getting arrested for drunk driving. At her front door, Mercedes offers Larry to kiss her and they hug (Mercedes thinks that they are kissing). She wants to have sex as well, but Larry declines, not wanting to take advantage of her inebriated state. When Dean arrives home the following morning he finds all of his possessions on the front lawn. [Wikipedia]