‘The Upside’ Review: A Charming Bromance


There is an old saying: Opposites attract.

The corky differences between you and another person make any relationship exciting, edgy, and dynamic. It’s true and we all know it. That’s why instead of dating that “nice” person from across the hall, you keep going back to your crazy ex. Not to mention, we all have that one person that makes us think, Hmm we’re an odd pair but hey, it works.  Don’t worry I am not judging you based off your life choices (except your choice to read this blog, which btw thank you). I can also name a couple relationships that were/are a bit odd. But let’s not get too involved in my nonexistent personal life.  


The Upside, directed by Neil Burger ( Limitless) stars Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston. The story follows Dell, an ex-con who is hired as a life auxiliary for Phillip Lacasse, a man who has been paralyzed from the neck down due to a hang-gliding accident.

We’ve seen this story before. The Upside is a modern remake of The Untouchables, one of the most profitable French-language films in the history of cinema (which, btw, grossed more than 400 million worldwide).

Oh good, now we know the real intentions of this remake: To make just as much money To tell a hart-felt story about life, a tragic disability and friendship.

The Upside is an unconventional film that pulls at your hart-strings (okay I’m done). The two characters are a lovely juxtaposition of personality and perspective that enlivens the relationship. Overall, writer John Hartmere developed a “hart-felt” story suitable for a wide variety of audiences ( I COULDN’T RESIST).

Although the plot line is a bit predictable, Dell and Phillip develop a friendship centered around a mutual interest: music. And no it’s not rap. Instead, Mozart, Giuseppe Verdi, and Aretha Franklin creatively linked these two interesting characters in a charming way. Kevin Hart’s genuine role is a refreshing look into his persona on screen. Job well done.

Some saw it as controversial, an able-bodied man portraying a paraplegic. But Bryan Cranston was brilliant in this role. Hands down. Cranston already showed us his amazing acting skills as Walter White in Breaking Bad. But this role was different. Filled with the complexities of playing a disabled man crippled by his physical and emotional obstacles.

Although their friendship is touching, the film managed to show nothing more than a stereotypical black man showing a millionaire that there is more to life than spending money and hang-gliding. So I guess the lesson is money doesn’t buy happiness? Debatable. Money manages to give Dell a hefty weekly salary, an upscale Manhattan apartment, and the opportunity to repair the relationship with his son and wife.

[Side note, Mark Frieberg, the production designer, did a WONDERFUL job with Phillip’s apartment. It is truly a piece of real estate heaven]

As a life-auxiliary, Dell has the opportunity to change his life, make new friends and discover a passion for opera. I don’t know about you, but after the movie ended the first thing I did was Google “how to be a life auxiliary.”  Although I am not particularly interested in a job centered around changing catheters and giving sponge baths, I would gladly befriend a new person and discover a hidden passion…..while living rent free of course.

On the other hand, maybe I’m really looking for a friend….


Nah just kidding. I’m looking for free-rent.

When compared to The Untouchables, there are minimal changes made to the storyline. One of the main differences is location. Instead of taking place in Paris, The Upside is shot in New York.

Occasional pop-culture references will make you giggle. While Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston’s chemistry on screen is a true bromance.


The Upside:a film filled with life lessons, catheter jokes, and an atypical friendship. It’s a bit odd but hey, it works!


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2 thoughts on “‘The Upside’ Review: A Charming Bromance

  1. Lauryn gives a no holds barred account of the film. She creates a visual snapshot and breaks down the characters with a real sense of how beliveable the story is and if it rose to the level of her recommendation. it’s hard to find someone who shares my perspective of what a good movie is… and Lauryn does that for me.I really love her style.

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