See It at the Movies

THE UPSIDE

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THE UPSIDE

* * * ½

(Relationship story based on reality)

Joyce and I usually go to the movies alone, but our daughter and son-in-law (huge Bryan Cranston fans) joined us for this movie based on actual people.

We were convinced that the writers must have taken great poetic license on the story of a quadriplegic who hires a "Life Auxiliary" who couldn't be a less likely candidate, with both learning important life lessons from each other. The four of us rated the film from * * * to * * * * ½, with my daughter, who gets her compassion from her mother, loving the movie and rating it the highest.

Like "The Green Book,” the two main characters are complete opposites. Phillip LaCasse (Cranston) is one of the richest men in the world. He has it all, but having it all can be very frustrating when all you can move is your head. Dell (Kevin Hart) is a down-and-out parolee who takes the job out of fear of being sent back to prison. He is a deadbeat dad on his last ropes. The two make an interesting odd couple as they learn from each other and eventually become soul mates.

I have always had problems with Hart's manic acting and enjoyed his toned down approach to his character, showing the conflict between doing the right thing and caring only for himself. There are some funny scenes. Anyone who has ever had an experience with a catheter will relate to Dell's initiation to the appliance.

Nicole Kidman plays LaCasse's executive secretary and Julianna Margulies has an interesting scene that is kind of a downer.

While some critics have not been kind to the movie, we all saw enough good in it to recommend taking a look.

Rated PG-13, with some sexual references and drug use.

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