Robot and Frank (2011) ***

March 3rd, 2013
Author: Meredith Taylor

Director: Jake Schreier

Script: Christopher D Ford

Cast: Frank Langhella, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden

89min    US Comedy Drama

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Anyone with elderly parents will appreciate this whip-smart, offbeat comedy that centres on a grouchy retired burglar Frank (Frank Langhella) and his relationship with a household robot bearing a striking resemblance to Top Gear’s ‘Stig’: superbly voiced by Peter Sarsgaard. Although Frank initially resents the well-meant and strangely human gift from his grown-up kids, he soon realises that its skills go well beyond the housework.

The story unfolds in a rambling house in upstate New York, and although Frank is stumbling on the foothills of dementia, he’s selective in his mental capacities; still managing to flirt with the local librarian (a supurb Susan Sarandon) but often absent-minded about his offspring played by James Marden and Liv Taylor.

It’s a strong and ingenious debut from Jake Schreier and one whose subtle irony and worthy subject matter could have provided scope for more development and complexity given the modest running time. MT






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