“Won’t you be my neighbor?” It’s impossible not to get this song stuck in your head, and leave the theater without having the warm fuzzy feeling of wanting to be a better person that Mr. Rogers is so famous for delivering. I already knew this would be a great movie going in. Tom Hanks hasn’t been in a bad role, and Mr. Rogers is an icon. So what’s not to like? I enjoyed the movie, but it was a lot different than what I thought.
Tom Hanks nails the role of Fred Rogers including his mannerisms. What surprised me about ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ is Fred Rogers wasn’t the focal point but more of the secondary story. It focuses more on Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), who is an investigative journalist who is assigned to do a story on Fred Rogers. Vogel is a cynic who is determined to find some dirt on Mr. Rogers, and will not stop until he does. Vogel wasn’t prepared for how remarkable, and selfless of man Fred Rogers truly is. Mr. Rogers helps Vogel look at his past and face his demons.
Bottom line, ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ is different than what I expected, but it’s a great and powerful movie. Tom Hanks and Mathew Rhys really bring it home. It’s a must see.