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January 21, 2019

The Upside (2019) --- "Based On A True Story About An Incredible Friendship."

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     Directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist) and written by Jon Hartmere (The Seventh Sense), The Upside (2019) is a thoughtfully crafted remake of the French film, Les Intouchables, and follows Phillip Lacasse (Bryan Cranston), a paralyzed billionaire in search for a new Caregiver. Needing help to get through daily life and activities, Lacasse hires Dell Scott (Kevin Hart), a previously convicted felon, to take on the position at the disinclination of his business employee, Yvonne (Nicole Kidman).

     Remakes come and go. Their success is determined by the success of the original and whether or not the fans agree with any changes. The Upside (2019) hopes to be a success as a comedy-drama film with a modern perspective, and the film does exactly that.  The story cleverly explores current issues surrounding stereotypes and privilege, while also injecting light humor in the right places. A few key messages were also made known in this film. Privileged people tend to have more money than sense, while most underprivileged people only end up in the wrong situations due to their environment and society doesn’t always give them the chance to prove that they’re not all bad people. Also, not many people are cut out to be with someone who has a disability but those few who are cut out for it are even more incredible.
      The cast performances are great. The carry the humor, the two leading actors bring their talents and different acting styles together. Bryan Cranston's (Breaking Bad) sarcasm and character-focused approach work for this role as he uses dry humor and some story elements to move the film along. While Kevin Hart (Night School, Jumanji 3) is known for throwing in jokes at every turn, almost to the point where it can be annoying, here he takes on a more serious role and adds in humor without crossing the line. Together, they play off of each other very well and it is always fun to watch a budding relationship bloom. Nicole Kidman (Aquaman) was an added bonus to the film. Although I did not feel like her character’s backstory and involvement were fully utilized, there was enough of her to not overshadow to two leads.

     Overall, The Upside (2019) is an entertaining comedy-drama that is relatable, relevant, and funny. The story carries a great message about friendship and not judging a book by its cover, the humor was a perfect fit, and the cast performances were great. I am sure that by the end you will have a new level of appreciation for people with disabilities, how they’re treated and what they’re daily lives are like.

"What about the botox lady? Your perfect for each other, you can't move your body, she can't mover her face."
- Dell [to Phillip]

Final Vote --- 8 of 10 stars

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