This is the story of a Jewish physics professor, Larry Gropnik. His day starts out ordinarily, until his wife calmly tells him she wants a divorce in order to marry his neighbor, Sy Ableman. While at work, Larry receives gets bribed and blackmailed at the same time, especially untimely as he is under consideration for tenure.
Click here to see the rest of this review
Sy calls and arranges a meeting with Larry to discuss his wife's affair calmly, suggesting the futility of Larry's plights. Bad luck seems to be following him. He moves out with his brother, who gets charged with solicitation and other activities. Even his dreams involving the sexy neighbour make him uncomfortable.
Larry looks for advice from a number or rabbis, but they turn out to be either incoherent or flatly refuse to see him. There is a particularly affecting scene involving a story told by one rabbi. He has car accident, and when his wife's lover Sy suddenly dies, the funeral bill goes to him.
At his son Danny's Bar Mitzvah, Larry has a rare moment a happiness. He is proud of his son. Back at the school, he receives a large bill from Arthur's attorney. He gets a call from his doctor, urging him to come immediately for some serious news. As a manifestation of Larry troubles, in the end we see a large tornado approaching the town as if aiming for him.
Best part of story, including ending:
I loved the film. It operates within an exquisitely unique world to ask the most universal question, while poignantly reminding us of its futility. On top of all this philosophical depth, we get a funny and moving story about a deeply relatable character.
Best scene in story:
The scene where one of the rabbis tells Larry the store with the dentist. The whole scene and the story told during it encapsulate the themes of the film: the unanswerable questions of life and the futility of reason in the face of chaos.
Opinion about the main character:
Larry considers himself a serious man. Which is why the misfortunes that follow him are not fun and games. I always hoped Larry would find some answers, even as I was told there are no questions.