Eppler: Cast is the "Upside" of predictable drama - FOX34 Lubbock

Eppler: Cast is the "Upside" of predictable drama

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"The Upside" is a harmless piece of feel-goodery anchored by some good performances from likable actors. Bryan Cranston is Phillip, a super wealthy quadriplegic looking to hire a new caretaker, but instead of going with one of many highly qualified applicants, he picks a wholly unqualified ex-con almost there by mistake: Dell, played by Kevin Hart.

We never find out why Phillip chooses to trust his life and well being to Dell (other than it's a halfway decent idea for an alright movie), but Phillip's business manager played by Nicole Kidman is not too pleased.

It's like "Green Book" meets "Pretty Woman" as Dell learns to be more cultured and Phillip learns to love and live again without worrying too much about cultural divides. You'll see the turns coming from blocks away. But Cranston and Hart are quite good together, especially in quieter moments. I was especially impressed with Hart, delivering an unusually toned down and earnest performance.

It's not a movie that asks much of us - other than to ignore some pesky plot holes. Some of the movie's efforts and being cutesy and charming come off clunky, and the story takes some needless detours stretching it beyond two hours when it would have been better to dig deeper into what's already there, but Cranston, Hart and Kidman had me bought in. They are "The Upside."

EPPLER'S RATING: * * * 

RATING SCALE

* * * * * Incredible - One of the best of the year
* * * * Excellent - Touches greatness with only minor quibbles
* * * Good - Plenty to like, definitely worth seeing
* * Mediocre - You can do better
* Awful  - The worst, an insult to movies

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