A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman (2015)

Book & Movie- Ove is an elderly man who just wants to be reunited with his deceased wife. In the past, his rigidity and ill-temperament has kept most social interactions to a minimum, until now, when a friendly family moves in next door and tests his inflexible ways, starting with a slight U-Haul truck mishap. Between Ove’s cynical outlook on life and the humorous exchanges between him and his neighbors, A Man Called Ove can crack a smile of even the callous of people.

I was absolutely thrilled when I found out that this novel was adapted into a movie. Although dark, suicidal ideology is persistent throughout the film, it is more of a dreary storm cloud that never precipitates. Much of the film is spent recollecting Ove’s past, from growing up in his father’s shoes to life with his former wife Sonja, each memory allowing the audience to commiserate with Ove’s irritable self. I have always been one who has appreciated the book more than the movie adaptation in just about all titles, and this is no different, however I praise the director for keeping to the storyline rather than taking it in a different direction. One last note worth mentioning is that the movie is in Swedish but has English subtitles! I for one keep the subtitles on regardless of the language but personally found it taxing attempting to keep up with the dialogue when I would much rather enjoy the movie as a whole.

1 thought on “A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman (2015)

  1. Alexa,

    Thank you so much for your review of this book and film. I quite enjoyed the film! Two other Nordic authors have given audiences similar humorous tastings, which we have in our Warrenville Public Library holdings: The 100 Year-old man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared (2012) by Jonas Jonassen of Sweden, followed by the titular film in 2015, and The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen (2014) by Hedrik Groen of the Netherlands.

    Jonassen recently published The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-year-old Man (2018), which is arriving soon and will be featured in the New Fiction section near the Member Services Desk!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.