The tear-jerking comedy ‘A Man Called Otto’ is a must-watch


Sony Pictures Entertainment

Tom Hanks stars as Otto Anderson, alongside Mariana Treviño and Truman Hanks in the English adaptation of “A Man Called Ove.”

Reagan Russell, Coeditor-in-Chief

“A Man Called Otto” is a drama-comedy film that follows the story of a grumpy old man coming to terms with the recent passing of his wife. As entertaining neighbors begin to move in across the street, he forms new friendships and new perspectives about life. 

The film will take you through a rollercoaster of emotions. Marc Forster highlights the good with the bad and is not afraid to talk about hard-hitting subjects. 

The film was released on Jan. 13, after only being selectively available since Dec. 30, 2022. The film is an English adaptation of the 2015 film called “A Man Called Ove.” Tom Hanks stars as Otto Anderson, with his son, Truman Hanks, playing the younger version of him. Although many often look down upon nepotism babies, this was an excellent casting choice.

The cast had wonderful chemistry that showed through on screen. Each actor truly and wholly embodied their character and you could tell all interactions and relationships were crafted thoroughly 

The film takes a turn very quickly. I was distracted by the humorous nature of Otto in the first five minutes and was caught very off guard when Otto began to show how deeply his trauma was affecting him. 

Today, it is rare to see a character be as vulnerable as Otto, especially in older generations, so I found this aspect of the film very refreshing. Although I could not always relate to the film, I could still appreciate its many beautiful messages.

I will admit, for the first half of the film, I was struggling to stay entertained. It had a very slow start and it was unclear where the plot was going and how they planned to finish the story. However, the second half of the film made this movie a must-see.

The development of Otto and Marisol’s friendship was beautiful, dynamic and unexpected. Marc Forster takes two contrasting characters and allows them to bring out the best in each other. Marisol pushes Otto to be more outgoing and friendly, while Otto proves to Marisol that she is capable of accomplishing anything she dreams of.

This film reminded me of the 2019 film “The Upside,” starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart. Both plots share the stories of unconventional friendships through different generations. While each story is taken in a different direction, I cherished their entertaining similarities.

If you are a sucker for a good heartfelt film and do not mind shedding a few tears, “A Man Called Otto” is a definite must-watch.