The Upside is a 2017 American comedy-drama film directed by Neil Burger and written by Jon Hartmere. It is a remake of the French 2011 film The Intouchables, which was itself inspired by the life of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo. Phillip is a wealthy quadriplegic who needs a caretaker to help him with his day-to-day routine in his New York penthouse. He decides to hire Dell, a struggling parolee who’s trying to reconnect with his ex and his young son. Despite coming from two different worlds, an unlikely friendship starts to blossom as Dell and Phillip rediscover the joy of living life to the fullest. It stars Brian Cranston and Kevin hart.
The Upside touches on many things well but never really exceeds just being “okay” in any of them. It’s funny, but not really funny enough for me to recall anything I laughed at, or inspire a guy wrenching laugh. Its heartfelt, but feels emotionally manipulative often enough that I don’t really feel attached to anything or feeling much. Its inspiring, but doesn’t have a message clear enough to actually inspire. The only things I would really say it’s good at, is being a buddy movie, and that is purely from the surprisingly great chemistry from Hart and Cranston. And, showing a really impactful Arc for Dell, Kevin Harts character. Now, I’ve never been a Kevin Hart fan as an actor. Amazing comic, obviously, there’s a reason he’s the biggest in the world, but a very one-note actor. I would dare say this is his best role. It has depth, drama, and real feeling behind. Obviously not Cranston’s though, and if anyone tries to tell you it is you slap them. Seriously.
It’s good enough to stream if it’s ever available for a service you already pay for.