1. What’s it about?
A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood is about the friendship between Fred Rogers and a magazine reporter, Llyod Vogel. While some of the story has been fictionalized, the majority of it is based on the true story about Tom Junod, who wrote an Esquire magazine profile on Fred Rogers titled “Can You Say…Hero?” and in the process developed a very close friendship with Fred Rogers.
2. Who is in it?
Tom Hanks plays the role of Mister Rogers and Matthew Rhys (probably best known for his role on the TV series The Americans) plays Lloyd Vogel (the fictionalized version of Tom Junod). The role of Lloyd’s father Jerry Vogel is played by Chris Cooper (who is very recognizable as Conklin from the Jason Bourne series of movies). And Susan Kelechi Watson (best know for her role in the TV series This Is Us) plays Andrea Vogel (Lloyd Vogel’s wife). But even more important is to mention a couple of the cameos from friends and family of Fred Rogers. Fred’s wife Joanne Rogers appears briefly and in the same scene so does David Newell (the actor that played Mr. McFeely).
3. Is this a kid’s movie? Anything objectionable?
This is definitely not a kid’s movie. Not because there is anything objectionable. Two punches are thrown in the movie (so no significant violence), and no foul language. No, It’s not a kid’s movie because most kids simply won’t be very engaged with the story. Kids will certainly be entertained by many of the Mister Rogers sequences in the film, but the main plot is about adult drama and relationships and that won’t carry most younger kid’s attention. You are safe to bring kids of any age to the movie, but unless they are 12 or above they may not be very engaged with the main plot.
4. When is a good time for a bathroom break?
With a running time of just 107 minutes, it is not a bladder buster by any means. But if you need a break the scene where Lloyd Vogel leaves the hospital so he can go to Pittsburg is a good place to miss a couple of minutes and not miss much of anything of the main plot or any key scenes.
5. Will I enjoy it?
My wife really enjoyed the movie, but also said it was not what she expected. It is important to note that the way the story was told was very unique and it is a story we could all use hearing right now. So just know going in that the pace and storytelling of the movie is just a little bit different. It can get emotional but not overly so. I would say if you are interested in Fred Rogers and his messages you will very much enjoy this movie. And even if you know very little about Fred Rogers and his TV show, the messages are well worth the price of admission (at least in my opinion).
6. Did the subway scene really happen?
I won’t give this scene away, but when you see it this question will certainly come to mind. Yes, the scene in the subway really did happen and was not just a “Hollywood addition.”
7. Do I need to stay until the end of the credits for a bonus scene?
Yes, about 1-2 minutes into the credits there is a short bonus that runs along with the credits that is worth staying for.