2/10 In 2014, the Swedish novel “En man som heter Ove”, which translates to “A Man Called Ove” was released, followed up by a film adaptation on Christmas of the following year. I watched “A Man Called Ove” back when it was released due to the two Academy Award nominations it received. The most prestigious nomination being “Best Foreign Film”, which it lost to Iran’s entry, “The Salesman”. The film was strong and I revisited it before watching this American remake for comparison’s sake. It holds up well and is light years ahead of this horrendous and lazy copy where the only changes made are for the worse. The film follows an old, widowed man who wants to die so he can join his wife. He becomes increasingly cranky as he is all alone and attempts suicide multiple times. It is only through some acquaintances/neighbors who at first annoyed him but then he grew attached to, that he finds a reason to live another day. The original Swedish film had excellent performances, made great use of flashbacks between Ove and his wife Sonja and tugged on your heartstrings. There was a subplot with a gay character that felt natural and wasn’t forced into the story. As for this near carbon copy, nearly every scene is lifted from the original film. There are only a couple of minor changes between this and the original. Since gays are no longer diverse enough for Hollywood, the original gay character is replaced with a trans character (a woman with gender dysphoria who thinks she is a guy) and of course her parents aren’t accepting of her delusions so we can see how oppressed she is. Whereas the subplot in the original felt natural, this subplot couldn’t have felt more forced if they tried. Despite running roughly the same length as the original, superior film (around two hours long), despite copying it nearly scene by scene, we aren’t given nearly as much context to Otto’s actions/behavior and why he is as grumpy as he is. The original, in the same amount of run time, made time for more flashbacks (especially including Ove’s father) to provide context and character development. Much of that is erased here and we somehow get less development and context with the same amount of time given for the movie. How bad and lazy is this movie? Both movies keep the name of the deceased wife as Sonja but in this movie, they literally aren’t even consistent with how they pronounce her name. In flashbacks, when Sonja introduces herself, she pronounces her name one way and in the present day, Otto, who supposedly loved his wife so much, but not enough to correctly pronounce her name as he says it a completely different way. How director Marc Forster or the editor didn’t catch this glaring problem and just re-record Tom Hanks’ lines is beyond me. I guess they just wanted to cash their paychecks and move on as this entire movie feels more like a paycheck for all involved as opposed to a genuine passion project. The only positives I can say are that the supporting cast has some solid performances like Mariana Treviño as Marisol and Hanks is able to carry the movie despite the incredibly lazy script that is a blight upon the original film. If the story appeals to you, since there are sweet emotional elements to it, I strongly suggest watching the 2015 original Swedish film and ignoring this lazy, woke garbage with a forgettable score, bland direction and the laziest script of a remake since “Living”.
#OttoEroticAsphyxiation / #NeedsOttoRepairs / #OttoZoningOut / #TheTerminallyIll / #DispatchMeIfYouCan / #GrumpyOldMan

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