The Up and Up (Movie Thoughts: The Upside)

large_epvl4k2dxqogffbegit49rsqu3cI really had no plans of seeing ‘The Upside’ because of Kevin Hart and his homophobic comments. But there were very slim pickings, and I had read that audiences are loving it. I saw its original version, the French movie ‘The Intouchables,’ and I remember liking it, but thought it was a very American kind of movie, so I guess it is inevitable that there is an American remake of it.

Well, what do you know. I hate to admit it, but I will be honest – I loved this film. John Hartmere is credit with the American screenplay and I thought it did a pretty good job of Americanizing the story, and making it something we can relate to instantly. And it had great performances. Bryan Cranstone is wonderful as Philip, the millionaire paraplegic who employs Del (Kevin Hart) to take care of him. Philip wanted something different, and Del is as different – and rough – as they come. They forge a friendship, and they learn from each other. It’s all trope, mind you, but you believe because the characters are believable. And I hate to say this, but I was charmed by Hart’s performance. I don’t think I have ever seen one of his films before, and he sure can fill a screen. (But then again, he plays a homophobe here, so…)  And I had wondered why Nicole Kidman would take a supporting role here, but after seeing the movie I get it – she makes her own mark in the film and is wonderful as well.  This is an entertaining commercial film, probably a bit more mainstream for my tastes, but I had an enjoyable time watching it. And as long as you keep it a secret, i can even confess I was touched by it.

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