Take a cantankerous elderly man, force him to live with a charming humanoid robot, and what do you get? Well, in theory you'd get a giant steaming pile of cinematic feces, because I don't know about you but that plot sounds HORRIBLE, but Robot & Frank looks like it may have achieved the impossible ... or at least the unlikely.
It's a low-radar (I'd never heard of it before today) movie that sounds like part character study, part odd couple/buddy flick, part caper, part sci-fi, part dramatic comedy -- and at least one critic is calling it the "sleeper hit of the summer." Check out Robot & Frank's surprisingly compelling trailer:
First, a quick background synopsis: the incomparable Frank Langella stars as Frank (really?), a retired cat burglar who's starting to suffer from dementia. His (ridiculously good-looking) adult kids, played by James Marsden and Liv Tyler, are concerned for his well-being, so because this is set in the near future, they send him a robot caretaker. Who looks sort of like a mini-Stormtrooper.
Anyway, here's the trailer:
It looks pretty decent, right? I mean, if I'd just heard the description of Robot & Frank, I'd think it was an Adam Sandler vehicle or something, but this actually seems sort of ... sweet? At the very least, it's probably worth seeing for Langella's performance, which has been pulling in rave reviews. Take a look at what the critics are saying:
The key to making all of this come together is Langella, who effortlessly conveys the complexity of Frank's anger and confusion even when playing a scene for laughs. -- NPR
Just about the time that Robot starts to grow on his curmudgeonly client, so may this movie -- a sci-fi fantasia that's surprisingly sweet and old-fashioned -- win over any skeptics. -- Washington Post
In a traditionally excellent, subtle performance, Langella embodies a man recapturing his purpose. -- RedEye
A work of power, nuance and daredevil craft, Langella's performance is a reminder that giants still fill the stage, and the screen. -- TIME
Will it be date-night-worthy? Who knows, but in a movie world of reboots and superhero blockbusters, it's nice to see a studio take a risk on something so oddball, don't you think?
What's your reaction to Robot & Frank? Are you interested in seeing it?
Image via Robot & Frank