Friendship can appear when you least expected it–a new neighbor, a stranger on the bus, or, as in the case of Robot & Frank, a small robot to help your senility.
Frank, a professional cat burglar now retired, struggles with the realities of elderly life. When his children realizes that their father is beset with dementia, they decide to purchase a caretaker robot (yes, robot) to help him with daily life and, hopefully, slow his cognitive decline. While the robot is designed to help Frank with day-to-day life, Frank quickly realizes that he could also help him return to his former profession.
Frank immediately sets his sights on the local library, which is being renovated and turned into a community center. His goal? Stealing a valuable edition of Don Quixote to foil the plans of the developer in charge of the renovations and win the affections of a beautiful librarian. This, of course, does not go as planned, as his daughter begins to question the ethics of a helper robot and his relationship with the local librarian proves more complicated than Frank expected.
While the theme of dementia is generally not lighthearted, Robot & Frank manages to be an otherwise amusing and quirky film. Frank Langella, Susan Saradon, and the rest of the cast are fantastic in their emotionally difficult roles, and the dialogue is fast paced and amusing. But most importantly, by focusing on our ability to find companionship in the oddest of places, it affirms the connections and relationships that we develop throughout our lifetimes.