10 Reasons to Watch Robot and Frank

13 Mar

1.  It’s one of the best written screenplays I’ve seen in a long time.  Every set-up has a payoff.  Most of it both follows the rules and conventions in its set world and surprises.   The end comes at the right time and it’s a perfect ending for this story.  (I’m trying not to do spoilers, so you’ll have to take my word for it.)

2.  The Robot–terrifically designed, kind of cute, and has a sort of robot personality that makes sense as it’s a healthcare robot.  The interesting thing is that the movie makes a point that this machine is not alive but we are as helpless to read life into its programming as Frank is.

3.  Frank Langella plays Frank, a man suffering from Alzheimer’s disease with such a masterful hand that it’s a shame he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar.  What I most appreciate is showing that Alzheimer’s creates disorganized thought and problems remembering things, but it’s clear that Frank is still intelligent behind all this.  Also his gruff old man schtick is as lovable as the robot.  Wait for the moments where he’s forced to be tender. It’ll wrench your heart.

4.  Susan Sarandon–it’s so nice to see her in stuff again, she’s like seeing an old friend.

5.  The tight cast–maybe it’s going with the writing, but there’s nobody wasted.  Liv Tyler plays the good intentioned daughter who gets on her high horse very well. James Marsden is exceptional as the uptight son.

6.  Being set in the near future is cooler than being in science fiction territory.  We can see how these new gizmos fit into everyday life, and the way the characters interact with these things is very much how we would.  At the same time the movie can have the odd connection between the robot and a country style house.

7.  Because watching a robot help a cat burglar is just funny.

8.  The real story (no spoilers) is how Robot is the only being that could be around Frank and basically handle him–he functions as a practice person that eventually allows him to forge connections again.  The robot is not magic–this is a realistic application.

9.  Because Frank’s first thought about Robot is that the robot is creepy and would kill him in his sleep.  Honestly that’s what you’re thinking too.  (And no this doesn’t happen.)

10.  Because you will feel great after watching this movie.  This is the sort of movie that will make you a better person, I swear.

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