“The Upside”: a Heartwarming Film


Image courtesy of STX Entertainment

Jordyn Grist

On Jan. 11, “The Upside” was released in theaters. The movie stars familiar actors like comedian Kevin Hart, and Bryan Cranston who starred in “Breaking Bad,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” and “Seinfeld.” It’s already ousted “Aquaman” in the box-office, with $19.6 million in revenue within its first weekend of showing.  

“The Upside” is based on a true story and starts with a rather abrupt car chase scene. The comedy is prominent right away, especially when Dell, played by Kevin Hart, meets Phillip, who is played by Bryan Cranston.

Phillip is a quadriplegic who is paralyzed from the neck down; Dell is a man recently released from prison and in need of a job. The two meet when Dell discovers an ad for a “janitor” on a penthouse floor in an apartment building.

Although the ad did not run true to the needed “caretaker” position, Dell accepts the job– with some reluctance. Unfortunately, Phillip hired him because he knew Dell wasn’t qualified (Phillip didn’t want to live anymore). But despite this, the two grew close together very quickly, even if they argued occasionally.

“The Upside” scored a 5.1/10 on IMDb, 44% on Metacritic, and 39% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, 91% of Google users liked the film.

I was confused on as to why the movie scored so low. Before seeing the movie, I looked at the reviews and went in expecting it to lag. I was pleasantly surprised by the story and character development. Dell really grew, and you can see it in how he acts in certain situations that pop up during the film.

 The comedy had the whole theater laughing constantly, but it didn’t overpower the story. My criticism would be that I didn’t like the skips in time that would occur sometimes. However, they never caused confusion, they just seemed to leave a gap. Additionally, there is some obvious stereotyping involved, though it doesn’t wholly taint the movie or its message.

Overall, I’d give the movie a solid 7.5/10 stars, and I’d recommend this to anyone able to watch PG-13 movies.

“The Upside” is a heartwarming, laid-back change from most movies we are used to. Superhero movies tune in on the action, but “The Upside” takes a step to the side and focuses on one of the more important, yet simple things in life; our relationships.