Netflix finally sent me Robot and Frank and it was definitely one of my favorite movies of the year.
In the very near future, Frank, played flawlessly by Frank Langella, is a man living alone in upstate New York who’s health and memory is failing. He’s visited weekly by his successful son, Hunter (James Marsden) and gets daily video calls from his always traveling daughter Madison (Liv Tyler). He loves the small town life and while he doesn’t always remember everything correctly he does OK on his own. He makes daily trips to the local library due to his love of reading and clear crush on the local librarian, Jennifer (Susan Sarandon).
Knowing that his health is going downhill and feeling burdened by needing to constantly visit, Hunter decides to buy his father a helper robot, much to the dislike of Frank and the dismay of Madison. Frank has Robot (superbly voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) help him with his meals, chores and keeping and remembering his schedule, albeit reluctantly at first.
Eventually Frank and his new robot begin to strike up an unlikely friendship, causing some of the secrets of Frank’s past to resurface in an unusual way. It’s easy to see why even a stubborn old man like Frank would eventually come to love this Robot as a friend. Even though Robot doesn’t have the full range of human emotions and doesn’t always understand Frank’s motives for doing what he does, he’s always there to be a friend and helping hand to him.
A sweet dramedy, “sci-fi lite” film, this film is sure to reach out to fans of all genres. Every single scene is funny and/or heart-warming and I loved it by the time I was ten minutes in. The whole cast is wonderful and believable. Nothing is overplayed or underwhelming. There are some interesting plot twists and details that make this more than just another “old man befriends unlikely companion” film which made me so happy. While I was very interested in the movie for quite a while I was afraid it would fall into the same trap that so many similar films have in the past; I’m so glad it didn’t and kept it fresh from start to finish.
While you can find more in other reviews, I really wanted to keep most of the plot of this movie unknown to give those of you who haven’t seen it a little bit more mystery when sitting down to watch this wonderful film. I loved this movie. It’s become a new favorite of mine and I hope you feel the same way.