Most Kevin Hart films arriving in theaters are heavily promoted. Surprisingly enough I only heard about The Upside over this past week. The film is not one I felt would keep me on my toes as far as laughter was concerned. I was positive that by the end of the film I was going to be that girl sobbing in theater among a handful of fellow movie goers. I was wrong on many accounts. Not only was the showing I attended one of the fullest screenings I’ve seen in a while, but I also found myself laughing at the film far more than I could have imagined.
The Upside is about a wealthy quadriplegic man, Phillip Lacasse (Bryan Cranston), who hires a man with a criminal record, Dell Scott (Kevin Hart), to become his life auxiliary in his time of need. Over time Lacasse and Scott form an untouchable bond. While Scott did not find himself amounting to much in life within his criminal record, Lacasse saw the untapped potential in Scott. Throughout the film the two push each other so that Lacasee does not give up on his zest for life and for Scott to realize he can be more and become a better man for his son.
We also learn that no matter how much we try to push others away that sometimes those same people we push out are the ones there who will come back. They might take the space eventually, but overall these people are in our lives for the duration of the remainder of what we have left. In many ways all the characters shine in that regard, but I would be remiss if I did not talk about Kidman’s role within the feature. She shines as a pseudo caregiver and quintessential best friend and potential life partner to Lacasee. Yvonne (Kidman) is a character we all understand because we have all been there. There’s always someone in our lives that we will drop everything for and merely be there no questions asked, and sometimes we are lucky enough to have others in our lives that ask those questions for us.
Ultimately, Cranston and Hart brings an emotional edge to a film I was certain would leave me bawling by the end. Instead I found myself charged and ready to focus on my to-do list of the year and each item I add daily. While we must build ourselves up a little at a time, The Upside teaches us that we can do anything with a good friend by our side. A devoted friend that would do anything for us and in turn we would do anything for them.