The Reel Review
Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston star in this American remake of the extremely popular 2011 French film The Intouchables, based on the true story of an unemployed ex-con hired to take care of a billionaire who becomes a quadriplegic as a result of a paragliding accident.
After a clumsy first half filled with contrived and highly implausible situations, corny jokes about disabilities and class differences, and a not so likable character portrayed by Hart, The Upside eventually uprights itself to become a surprisingly thought-provoking, heartfelt dramedy that explores the challenges faced by physically disabled people in a funny, realistic and respectful way. Cranston, as always, is outstanding, as is Nicole Kidman as his devoted assistant. Eventually even Hart proves to be pretty convincing as the unconventional caregiver whose unlikely friendship with his employer brings unexpected joy to both of their lives. It’s a pleasant, feel good story that, despite being a bit too long, will still leave you with a smile.
• The 2011 French film The Untouchables, based on the true story of French aristocrat Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and his caregiver Abdel Sellou, is still the world’s highest grossing non-English language movie ever, earning $281 million worldwide. The two men remain good friends today.
• Kevin Hart beat out Idris Elba, Jamie Foxx and Chris Tucker for his role in The Upside
• Although set in New York City, filming for The Upside took place in and around Philadelphia