NEIL BURGER | USA | ENGLISH | 2019 | 118 MIN
Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart’s infectious chemistry illuminates the story of a wealthy quadriplegic man’s newfound zest for life when he befriends an ex-con from the other side of the tracks in STXfilms and Lantern Entertainment’s new heartfelt comedy THE UPSIDE.
Confined to his Park Avenue penthouse after a tragic accident leaves him paralyzed from the neck down, successful author and chronic curmudgeon Phil (Bryan Cranston) believes his best years have come to an end. Forced to find a caregiver to tend to his every day needs, the fatalist Phil opts for parolee candidate Dell (Kevin Hart) because of his assumed ease with a Do Not Resuscitate clause— and for his own personal amusement. Predictably, the racially and economically divided odd couple finds little in common. Yet as each man is pushed into hilarious fish-out-of-water scenarios, a sincere and deep appreciation for the other’s complex history develops. The street-wise Dell immerses himself into Phil’s world of affluence and discovers a particular affinity for Mozart operas and his employer’s now underutilized Porsche. His new livened lifestyle empowers attempts to reconnect with his ex Latrice (Aja Naomi King) and their son Anthony (Jahi Di’Allo Winston), while Phil, possibly high off of Dell’s supply, attempts to woo his long-time assistant Yvonne (an always excellent Nicole Kidman). Inspired by a true story, THE UPSIDE, an Escape Artists production, is written by Jon Hartmere, based on the 2011 French film THE INTOUCHABLES. The film features a knockout performance from hometown hero Hart that finally allows the iconic comedian to display his dramatic chops. The always-delightful Cranston isn’t restrained with his knack for fun and zaniness in every scene, despite his physically confined role, and also features strong supporting performances from Nicole Kidman, Julianna Margulies and Aja Naomi King.
CAST: Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart, Nicole Kidman
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