Recommendations: 10 movies like a man called Otto

Tom Hanks’ latest picture, A man named Ottois currently entertaining theatergoers with its bold charm and brilliant story of a terrified elderly man who slowly discovers that life is worth living and being kind to others.

Does that sound familiar? This is probably because lots of movies have used the same plot with varying results. Here are 10 similar movies A man named Otto you can check out if you find yourself longing for more in the same vein, and of course the Swedish film A man called Ove is most similar as it served as the basis for the American version.

As Good As It Gets (1997)

The most obvious comparison with A man named Otto is James L. Brooks’ Oscar-winning As good as it gets. Starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear, this light-as-a-feather dramedy stars the grumpy old man with a heart of gold, but wins us over with its whip-smart script, stunning performances and an ending that warms the heart (and turns a year into fresh bread). Perfect for date night.

Jerry Maguire (1996)

Tom Cruise in a rom-com? Surprisingly, Cameron Crowe makes it work via a tale of a cynical sports agent who develops a conscience and must navigate a world he suddenly cares about. For all its pop culture influence — “Show me the money!” — Jerry Maguire remains a decidedly simplistic, good-natured story about wayward souls learning to appreciate life’s simple pleasures.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Unconventional and whimsical, this David O. Russell production hits all the right notes and finds Bradley Cooper’s rebounding mental patient tossing aside his past misdeeds for a romance with a grieving Jennifer Lawrence. Sparks fly – naturally – but the real joy of this production is how it appreciates the complicated realities of life, where people must fight against the tide to achieve true happiness.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Bill Murray shines in Harold Ramis’ classic ’90s comedy about a grumpy weatherman stuck in a time loop in the town of Punxsutawney, where he must relive Groundhog Day over and over again. Naturally, Murray’s character discovers a heart hidden deep within his cynicism, thanks primarily to Andie McDowell’s sweet-as-sugar producer. More emotional than expected, Groundhog Day serving equal laughter and heart.

Up (2009)

Pixar’s animated adventure follows a bitter old man who heads for an exotic location (via balloons tied to his house, no less) where he plans to spend his final days. A young scout who foils his plans needs a mentor. Naturally, the two bond as they deal with exotic birds, talking dogs, and an overly obsessed explorer. Somehow, Pixar makes the crazy plot work, leading to a heartwarming story of love, loss, and hope.

Scent of a Woman (1992)

Al Pacino won an Oscar for his portrayal of Lt. Col. Frank Slade, a blind man who throws himself into one last hurrah before a planned suicide. Fortunately, his bad luck pairs him with Charlie Simms (Chris O’Donnell), a young college student who steps in and offers the eccentric old man a different perspective on life. Sweet harmony, folks, even if the results are a tad exaggerated. Hooah!

Rain Man (1988)

Tom Cruise was quite young when he teamed up with Dustin Hoffman in this tale of two brothers – one a selfish playboy, the other a lovable man with autism – who head to Las Vegas in search of women, money and glory. Nevertheless, the story beats are similar to many on this list as Cruise’s character gains a heart and slowly develops a love for his brother.

Sabrina (1995)

A remake of Billy Wilder’s classic 1954 drama, this 1995 effort sees Harrison Ford’s gruff businessman fall for Julia Ormond’s carefree chauffeur’s daughter, with predictable, if amusing, results. Director Sydney Pollack keeps things light and carefree, pushing his leads for all they’re worth, but Greg Kinnear steals the show in a star-making turn as Ford’s free-spirited brother.

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

While not the best entry on Julia Roberts’ esteemed resume, My best friend’s wedding nonetheless delights as an old-school melodrama about a snotty brat who tries to end his longtime friend’s wedding after realizing his feelings for the man. Surprisingly, Roberts is the villain of the story and (helped by Rupert Everett) must learn to put aside his selfish desires. Cameron Diaz sparkles as the bride.

Bruce Almighty (2003)

Cheesy and sentimental, Bruce the Almighty delights as a vehicle for Jim Carrey to flex his comedic chops. Hans Bruce inherits the powers of God (Morgan Freeman), you see, and uses his newfound gifts to … move up in his journalism career. Don’t think too much about the plot, but enjoy Carrey’s antics and Bruce’s journey from selfish jerk to decent guy.

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