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‘Robot Dreams’ review: The 500 Days of Summer of platonic friendships

It’s the 80s and they’ve taken the ‘man’ out of ‘Manhattan’. But with no man, where does that leave man’s best friend? It’s here that we find Dog. Home, lonely, and looking for a friend that he finds one fateful night on a late-night infomercial. Robot is everything he could ever want or need, but a trip to the beach sends them on very different paths.

Based on Sara Varon’s comic of the same name, Robot Dreams presents an incredibly textured and densely-populated presentation of New York. With animal-based visual gags that can go toe-to-toe with any episode of Bojack Horseman, the opening of the movie lulls you into the idea that this is going to be a fun summer vacation with Dog and Robot. Then just quickly turns into a bittersweet and beautiful exploration of friendship so piercing that they don’t even need dialogue to navigate it.

Ultimately both end up changed, Dog better-prepared to care for his friend, and Robot glowing up and literally changing his tune. Robot Dreams is here to tell us that whether it’s for a summer, or for forever, there’s nothing better than a friend.

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