Title: The Upside
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Neil Burger
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart
Runtime: 1 hr 58 mins
What It Is: Dell (Hart) has just gotten out of prison and he’s trying to find work so that he can provide for his son. When he finds a custodian job at a ritzy building complex. When he stumbles into the wrong job interview he ends up instead interviewing for the job of caretaker for Phillip (Cranston) a quadriplegic writer who needs the assistance of someone in order to complete certain tasks. At the behest of Phillip’s partner Yvonne (Kidman) Phillip chooses Dell to be his helper.
What We Think: It goes for the easy joke more than it should. Having said that just because they’re easy doesn’t make them funny. Let’s give Kevin Hart the credit he deserves here this is the most emotional weight he’s ever had to carry as an actor and he does it with some aplomb. Cranston’s arc is good is not a bit too predictable. Kidman is wasted and not given nearly enough to do as is the lovely and talented Julianna Marguiles. Overall a fairly each to predict, but “feel good” film.
Our Grade: C+, Kevin Hart needs to really take on more roles like this. His acting chops are front and center and his funny side comes off far more naturally. The film that this film is based on The Intouchables is the second highest grossing film in French cinematic history. I’d say that knowing this the film grossly fails to deliver on the premise of the original. The heart is there but there isn’t enough of it to really sell me or the audience. I recommend this if only so you can see Bryan Cranston continue to be amazing and Kevin Hart gives a great performance, finally.