Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Neil Burger|
|Screenplay by||Jon Hartmere|
|Based on||The Intouchables|
by Olivier Nakache
|Music by||Rob Simonsen|
|Edited by||Naomi Geraghty|
|Box office||$50.8 million|
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. The film follows a paralyzed billionaire (Bryan Cranston) who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a recently paroled convict (Kevin Hart) whom he hires to take care of him. Nicole Kidman, Golshifteh Farahani, and Julianna Margulies also star. It is the third remake of The Intouchables after the Indian film Oopiri and the Argentinian film Inseparables (both 2016).
An English-language remake was first announced in July 2011. Numerous actors were rumored to star, including Chris Rock, Idris Elba, Colin Firth and Jessica Chastain, and different directors, including Paul Feig and Simon Curtis, were attached to direct. Hart officially signed on in October 2014, Cranston in March 2016, and Burger to direct that August. Filming began in Philadelphia in January 2017.
The film premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. Originally to be distributed by The Weinstein Company in March 2018, the film was shelved and sold off following the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations. It was eventually bought by STX Entertainment and Lantern Entertainment (the successor of TWC), who then released it in the United States on January 11, 2019, becoming Lantern's first release. The Upside has grossed over $50 million and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Hart and Cranston's chemistry and performances but criticized the plot for being "predictable and cliché".
- Kevin Hart as Dell Scott
- Bryan Cranston as Phillip Lacasse
- Nicole Kidman as Yvonne Pendleton
- Genevieve Angelson as Jenny
- Aja Naomi King as Latrice
- Julianna Margulies as Lily
- Rachel Alana Handler as Data Processing Supervisor
- Tate Donovan as Carter Locke
- Golshifteh Farahani as Dr. Magana ("Maggie") Gupta
- Jahi Di'Allo Winston as Anthony
- Michael Quinlan as Jack
In July 2011, in addition to buying distribution rights in English-speaking countries, Scandinavian countries and China, The Weinstein Company acquired the rights to remake The Intouchables in English. In June 2012, Paul Feig was slated to direct and write the script, with Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx and Idris Elba eyed for the role of Dell, Colin Firth in talks for Phillip, and Jessica Chastain and Michelle Williams considered for a female lead.
By March 2013, Feig dropped out of directing, with Tom Shadyac in talks to replace him, and Chris Tucker was in consideration for Dell. In October 2014, Kevin Hart was cast as Dell, with Firth still attached as Phillip.
In March 2016, it was announced that Bryan Cranston would play Phillip, replacing Firth. Simon Curtis was to direct Cranston and Hart from a screenplay written by Feig. By August 2016, Curtis dropped out of directing. Neil Burger was announced as his replacement. A script by Jon Hartmere was used rather than Feig's work.
On August 2, 2017, the film's title was changed to The Upside.
Principal photography began on January 27, 2017 in Philadelphia. An official photo was released on January 30, 2017, of Hart's character via his Instagram account. The film initially received an R rating from the MPAA, but Burger and the film's producers trimmed it to get a PG-13.
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2017. It was initially scheduled to be released in the United States on March 9, 2018. However in January 2018, following the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations scandal, the film was pulled from the schedule by The Weinstein Company and moved to an unspecified 2018 date.
In August 2018, it was announced STX Entertainment would be partnering with Lantern Entertainment, the successor to TWC, to distribute the film. It was released in the United States on January 11, 2019. STX spent just under $30 million promoting the film, including $7 million on TV advertisements.
As of January 21, 2019[update], The Upside has grossed $46.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $4.1 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $50.8 million, against a production budget of $37.5 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside the openings of Replicas and A Dog's Way Home, as well as the wide expansion of On the Basis of Sex, and was initially projected to gross around $10 million from 3,080 theaters in its opening weekend. However, after making $7 million on its first day (including $1.1 million from Thursday night previews), estimates were raised to $19 million. It went on to debut to $20.4 million, becoming the first film to dethrone Aquaman from atop the box office. The film fell to second in its sophomore weekend behind newcomer Glass, grossing $15.7 million.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 40% from critics, based on 141 reviews with an average rating of 5.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Preachy, manipulative, and frustratingly clichéd, The Upside showcases Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart's chemistry without ever taking full advantage of it." On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the film has a score of 46 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars and a "definite recommend" of 66%.
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times writes "Hart delivers a sincere and relatively low-key performance as Dell, but he's playing an all-too-familiar movie stereotype." Scott Tobias of Variety, reviewing the film after its 2017 premiere, was critical of it for failing to improve upon the original or update the story, writing, "So little has been done to update or refresh The Intouchables for American culture or a new audience that The Upside has no integrity as a separate piece of work." Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian wrote "The whole affair is misjudged and sickly sweet" and gave it 1 out of 5 stars. Alex Hudson of Exclaim! scored the film 4/10, writing: "The script is corny as hell and the two-hour-plus runtime is way too long, but director Neil Burger does manage to wring some emotion out of the story — mostly thanks to solid performances from the leads."
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