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8 Movies Like A Man Called Otto You Must See

January 17, 2023

‘A Man Called Otto’, starring Tom Hanks, is a comedy drama about a retired widower who can’t wait to see his wife on the other side. Morose and inconsolable, Otto mumbles through his life and gets annoyed at the slightest inconvenience that his neighbors cause him. His irritation with the world reaches its peak when a new family moves into his neighborhood and brazenly invades his life, demanding his attention. However, this disdain turns into affection as the film progresses, making old Otto feel less lonely and more loved.

Directed by Marc Forster, this 2022 film is the second film adaptation of the Fredrik Backman novel A Man Called Ove. The film is one of those that impresses in an unassuming but powerful way. If you’re thinking about movies that trace the dings and dents of age, we’ve made a list for you. You can watch most of these movies similar to A Man Called Otto on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

8. About Schmidt (2002)

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Inspired by the novel of the same name by Louis Begley, About Schmidt is a soulful comedy film directed by Alexander Payne. Warren Schmidt, a newly retired widower, embarks on a journey to postpone his estranged daughter’s wedding. Bitter and disappointed, he sets out to discover himself in a way he’s never done in his life. The film, starring Jack Nicholson, tells the backstory to A Man Called Otto about retired widowers who have nothing left to live for.

7. Kotch (1971)

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Instead of taking the usual route to a retirement home, retired salesman Joseph Kotcher (Walter Matthau) embarks on a road trip with young, pregnant Erica. Jack Lemmon’s timeless masterpiece observes an old man’s struggle to hold on to his purpose in life, refusing to accept his fate as the discarded remnant of what society calls useful. Kotcher is the upbeat version of Otto in A Man Called Otto; at their core, however, both characters want to be seen as useful and fully functioning members of society. Both men find new meaning in life with the help of a pregnant woman.

6. Away From Her (2006)

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Poignant and heartbreakingly beautiful, Away From Her is a realistic portrayal of how Alzheimer’s disease affects the lives of older people. The romantic drama, which was directed and written by Sarah Polley, tells the story of Fiona and Grant, a couple who have been happily married for 40 years. Fiona (Julie Christie), struggling with the disease, is institutionalized and falls in love with another resident of the nursing home after losing all memory of Grant. The film depicts Grant’s reflections as he comes to terms with his loss and reflects on his own mistakes and infidelities. Similar to A Man Called Otto, the main character mourns her loss while reminiscing over and over again.

5. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

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Directed by John Madden, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel revolves around seven British pensioners who decide to move into a supposedly restored hotel in Jaipur, India, run by an eager host. The story unfolds as the characters’ lives intertwine as they explore their own pasts and ambitions. The film, which stars Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Dev Patel and others, is based on the novel These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach. The film is similar to A Man Called Otto in that the characters welcome new people into their lives and see them grow into people they never thought they could be.

4. Harold and Maude (1971)

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Considered one of the funniest American films of all time, the cult classic Harold and Maude chronicles the strange love affair between Harold, a 20-year-old with a death wish, and Maude, an eccentric 80-year-old who just can’t get enough of life. The two share a hobby of attending strangers’ funerals; they meet at such a funeral and develop a relationship. Directed by Hal Ashby, the film touches hearts with its unique perspective on the meaning of life. Like A Man Called Otto, the film explores themes of existentialism and suicidal tendencies through the lens of black comedy.

3. The Second Time Around (2016)

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Linda Thorson gives an excellent performance as Katherine Mitchell in this dreamy romance titled The Second Time Around opposite Stuart Margolin who plays Isaac Shapiro, a grumpy tailor in a retirement home. After recovering from a broken hip, Katherine moves into this retirement home, believing it’s only a temporary facility, only to find unexpected love the second time around. While the film gives audiences the rosy tinge of romance, it also doesn’t hide the frustrations and hardships of aging like A Man Called Otto does.

2. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

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The four Oscar-winning film Driving Miss Daisy tells the story of a proud Southern lady Daisy (Jessica Tandy) and her African-American chauffeur Hoke Colburn (Morgan Freeman) as they develop a loving and reliable relationship over a period of 25 years. The film jewel gives us a glimpse into the hearts of old people in an unobtrusive way, such as through subtle gestures and eye contact. The film is similar to A Man Called Otto in characterizing its protagonists as proud and stubborn people who soften and allow love over time.

1. The Intern (2015)

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‘The Intern’ is a wonderfully unusual film about a 70-year-old man who can’t stand being without a job and applies to work as an intern at an online fashion company. The film beautifully portrays the man’s journey as he adapts to the new ways of doing business, while bringing his experience and warm personal charm to the table. As in A Man Called Otto, the central focus of the story is the aged protagonist’s unorthodox platonic relationship with a middle-aged woman. Directed, produced and written by the famed Nancy Meyers, the film has been cast with the likes of Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro.