When I first saw the trailer for The Upside directed by Neil Burger, it did not pop off the screen for me as a must see movie. Yes it had Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, but it looked like a classic buddy comedy where they learn how to live life to the fullest.
Welllllllllllll…that is pretty much what I got. It is extremely fun, but falls into the classic movie cliches a little too often (what comedy doesn’t these days). Based on the book the Intouchables, and inspired by the life of Phillippe Pozzo Di Borgo (BALLER name), The Upside touches on the harsh realities of people with disabilities, while still showing that life can be enjoyed in many different ways.
Kevin Hart looks like he wants to make a semi transition towards Drama these days and this seems to be the first step on that path. This movie is not a laugh out loud comedy like his previous work, it is more of a drama with a splash of Comedy. With his acting in this, he seems to have come a long way in his career which I have a lot of respect for.
Hart plays Dell Scott an ex con who is looking for work post release. He stumbles upon paralyzed Phillip Lacasse (again they should have kept the man’s real BALLER name), who needs a Life Auxiliary to help him through the day. He also is paid more for this gig than he ever has been before.
He is really good in this movie and surprised me more than once with his acting chops in some of these scenes with his counterparts.
His co star, Mr. Heisenberg himself, Bryan Cranston giving a different kind of performance than we have seen before. He is vulnerable, yet always seems to be in control.
His character is a world famous writer who is incredibly wealthy and seems to go through aide’s like candy. He of course has a tragic past and that factors in to how him and Dell engage in their friendship. At this point what can you say about Cranston, he is a legend and is basically one of the best parts of any project he touches.
Nicole Kidman plays Yvonne Pendelton, who runs Lacasse’s “affairs” and does not have time in her schedule to do aide all day. So when Phillip chooses Dell, it’s up to her to keep an eye on him and make sure he is the right man. Kidman does a solid job in this role and brings some much needed warmth to the movie.
*A couple other Tidbits
- Be ready there is definitely some major corniness here.
- They really do my girl Juilanna Margulies dirty in this movie.
- Shoutout to Nicole Kidman she has been putting in work late this year. Boy Erased, Aquaman, Destroyer, and The Upside. So good for you Nicole.
You want a nice feel good movie that has some solid acting in it? Go check out the The Upside you will have a smile on your face when you walk out.
*All of my movie ratings can be found here.