A Man Called Otto, featuring Tom Hanks, is a sweet date-night movie

Meet Otto, a curmudgeon living a simple life in the Pittsburg suburbs. He nitpicks everything his neighbors do, is rude to everyone he encounters, and is mourning the death of his long-time love. As his story unfolds, we find out that the grief of her loss was too much to handle and he’s preparing to end his life.

A Man Called Otto, directed by Marc Forster with a screenplay by David Magee, is the definition of bittersweet.

Enter, a new, young family. Marisol (Mariana Treviño) and Tommy (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), with two young kids and a baby on the way, shake up Otto’s life when they reach out to Otto for common, neighborly help and advice. Though it’s clear how annoyed Otto is at first, he ultimately finds comfort in being a part of their family. The road to this acceptance isn’t easy; it’s heartbreaking to watch Otto open up and let anyone in. Through flashbacks (Hanks’ real-life son, Truman, plays young Otto), the audiences uncover why Otto is who he is and what he’s going through. With the help of those around him and some new friends he meets in his community, Otto makes amends with those around him and becomes a man everyone is rooting for. Ultimately, this is a feel good movie.

A Man Called Otto is based on the novel A Man Called Ove by Swedish author Fredrick Backman and followed up with a movie of the same name in 2016. This 2023 American version feels unnecessary at this point, but that fact can be easily overlooked once Hanks appears on screen. He’s the perfect person to play a pseudo grumpy old man- because we can see right through and know deep down how much kindness and love radiates from him.

This is a good reminder to show kindness…and get to know your neighbors!

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