Despite not watching the TV show as a child and not hearing about it till many years later, I saw this film with a bunch of friends and ended up liking it.
It starts with what the opening to the TV program and introduced the latest Mr. Rogers, played by Tom Hanks. Mr. Rogers introduces different pictures and then focuses on a guy named Lloyd.
Lloyd has a wife called Andrea and a newborn named Gavin. They are going to attend his sister’s wedding. While there, Lloyd’s father says something unpleasing and Lloyd hurts him, which ends up becoming a fight involving a few other people. Lloyd ends up with a cut on his nose.
Lloyd’s editor assigns him to interview the children’s TV host, Mr. Rogers, and write a 400-word entry about it. But Lloyd doesn’t look forward to it. Nevertheless, he does it.
However, Mr. Rogers denies his fame and points out Lloyd’s nose injury, which worries him. Mr. Rogers also adds that he bangs on piano keys as a way to let out his anger.
Determined to show Mr. Rogers’ good side, Lloyd watches some of the episodes from the TV show. But he can’t recognize anything. Will he still get the job done, no matter how much he despises it?
I was surprised by how the “Mr. Rogers” universe looked more like a toy universe instead of a real one. While I’m sure it was deliberate and meant to attract kids, to me, it appeared bizarre. Maybe it wouldn’t have if I’d watched the show as a child—except that I hadn’t heard of it then.
That being said, the show’s format was well-thought out and the lessons were great. Tom Hanks did an amazing job portraying Mr. Rogers, who happens to also be a distant relative of him. The real Fred Rogers would have been proud.
The characters were likable, but sometimes, I felt there were silent moments for a little too long as well as not enough emotional tension at times.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie and rate it 4 out of 5 stars.