edited on November 11th, 2023 at 12:20 pm
In “A Man Called Otto“, the main character, Otto (Tom Hanks), is pretty much done with his life since the death of his wife. But when a lively young family moves in next door, grumpy widower Otto Anderson meets his match in a quick-witted, pregnant woman named Marisol (Mariana Treviño), leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world upside down.
The title itself didn’t really convince me to watch it but I still was kinda curious about it. I knew it’s one of those movies I usually wouldn’t touch but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone.
And, as it turned out, the movie was totally worth it to watch. It tells the story of Otto, a grumpy widower but grumpy for reasons. As he’s grieving for his wife and feels lonely and doesn’t know what to do with his life without his beloved wife.
The acting is excellent. I love the characters, especially Marisol. She’s the kind of person who is great to have around. Full of live and enjoying life as it can be but also a mother of soon to be three.
Otto, on the other hand, has seen people dying who he deeply cared about. He also sees everyone rather as a burdon than a help. Which makes those two characters so different but they still manage to get along after all.
In one way or another, Otto is often right about his grievances, to his credit. Why should he pay for six feet of rope and waste a few extra cents, for instance, when he bought just a little over five? Why shouldn’t he warn inconsiderate drivers who often block garage doors or entitled neighbors who can’t get as much as to remember to close a gate and respect basic rules about trash disposal? Or pick up a fuss when the soulless real estate guys from the fictional and hilariously named “Dye & Merica” show up to sabotage the community’s peace?
But as it turns out, not everything is as awful as Otto makes it out to be. And he could perhaps afford to have some manners himself, especially when a new, very pregnant neighbor drops by with a bowl of home-cooked meal as a courtesy.
The mystery is that none of the supporting personalities in this story can take a hint about Otto, at least not well into the film’s second act. Instead, all the characters collectively treat Otto with patience and acceptance, as if he isn’t being willfully rude to them every chance he gets. For example, it’s anyone’s guess why Otto’s work colleagues bother to throw him a retirement party when it goes unappreciated or why Marisol continuously insists on trying to bring out the good side of him when Otto offensively shuts down every one of her genuine attempts.
Still, the story lands some charms when Otto finally lets his guard down and starts making all the expected amends while suffering a rare heart condition. First, he becomes a local hero when he unwittingly saves someone’s life in front of a group of unhelpful people too preoccupied with their phones.
It was unexpected but I really ended up enjoying this movie. And I can really recommend to watch it, even tho the topic all along’s a bit more serious but realistic, I think it’s worth giving a try, if you enjoy comedies.
The message about the small wins of everyday people who operate as a functioning and harmonious community against the evils of faceless corporations is it’s biggest win.
It is for sure a wholesome crowd-pleaser for your next family gathering.
A+ : 10-9.3 | A: 9.2-8.7 | A- : 8.6-8.0 || B+ : 7.9-7.3 | B: 7.2-6.7 | B- : 6.6-6.0 || C+ : 5.9-5.3 | C: 5.2-4.7 | C- : 4.6-4.0 ||
D+ : 3.9-3.3 | D: 3.2-2.7 | D- : 2.6-2.0 || E+: 2.1-2.4 | E : 2.5-1.8 || F: 1.9-0
Have you already seen this movie? What do you think about it? Let me know in the comments!