Comedy | Drama
Garrett M. Brown, Rachel DiPillo, Hayley Kiyoko, Mary Kate Wiles, Travis Caldwell, Tess Harper, Wayne Duvall, Brent Briscoe, Nate Hartley, Ray Xifo, Kitty Swink, James DuMont, Eileen Galindo, Karina Bonnefil, Graham Sibley
Frank (Garrett M. Brown), a 59-year old recluse who suffers from Tourette Syndrome, embarks on a road-trip with a group of teenage girls.
Making a film on those with diseases isn't the easiest thing to do. Things get even more complicated when adding comedy because chances are the film is going to be offensive. Chances are the film won't be able to be funny and respectful at the same time. That being said, "Hello, My Name is Frank" finds the perfect balance between drama and comedy, and the result is a funny, sensitive and moving road-trip film.
The film mostly focuses on Frank, an elderly man with severe Tourette Syndrome, as he copes with the loss of his caregiver along with her daughter Laura. He has both physical and verbal Tourette, which means he both has ticks and verbal outbursts.
The filmmakers managed to portray Frank as a human being, as a 'normal' person just like me, and showed the person behind the syndrome, a man with dreams like everyone else. Sure, Frank's outbursts can be funny sometimes, but the filmmakers don't emphasise it, on the contrary they move on like nothing happened.
In addition to Frank, the film features other interesting and well crafted character, in particular three teenage girls: Laura who always puts the others first as a way to distract herself from the pain of the departure of the mother, Alisa who lives everyday like it's her last and Kim who is struggling with her faith, and the future her parents decided for her. This three additional characters makes the film successful as a coming-of-age tale as well.
The acting is arguably the best part of the film. Garrett M. Brown is fantastic as Frank. Actually he owns the role and helps the audience to get inside Frank's head and feel the character. Good performances also come from the younger cast. Rachel DiPillo does a good job portraying Laura and her pain and Mary Kate Wiles makes you sympathize with her character, but the stand out is Hayley Kiyoko and her portrayal of Alisa that is far away from the stereotypical free-spirit girl.
It released on VOD on May 17th. Definitely worth checking out.