What Goes Up

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What Goes Up
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJonathan Glatzer
Produced byJonathan Glatzer
R.D. Robb
Written byJonathan Glatzer
Robert Lawson
StarringSteve Coogan
Hilary Duff
Olivia Thirlby
Molly Shannon
Josh Peck
Music byRoddy Bottum
CinematographyAntonio Calvache
Edited byJennifer Godin
Fenster Itski
Distributed bySony Pictures Entertainment
Release date
  • May 8, 2009 (2009-05-08) (3rd Annual Buffalo Niagara Film Festival)
  • May 29, 2009 (2009-05-29) (limited)
Running time
107 min[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$5,290[2]

What Goes Up is a 2009 American comedy-drama film directed by Jonathan Glatzer and starring Hilary Duff, Steve Coogan, Josh Peck, Olivia Thirlby, and Molly Shannon. It was co-written by Glatzer and Robert Lawson and distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment. Coogan also serves as an executive producer. It premiered on May 8, 2009 at the 3rd Annual Buffalo Niagara Film Festival.[3] What Goes Up was released in the US through Sony Pictures and Three Kings Productions in select theaters on May 29, 2009 and expanded to more theaters the following week. Cities included Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Buffalo, Boston and Chicago.[4] The film grossed $5,290 in its opening weekend.[2]


Upon arriving in Concord, New Hampshire in January 1986 to cover the hometown hooplah for the looming Space Shuttle Challenger launch where Concord teacher Christa McAuliffe is among the mission's crew, reporter Campbell Babbitt (Steve Coogan) decides to call an old college friend, only to discover an apparent suicide. Babbitt, who has his own ethical baggage, gravitates toward his friend's high-school students in hopes of finding an unsung hero story about a teacher who made a permanent impact on the social misfits of the school. Instead, he discovers a group of dysfunctional students, outcasts led by a narcissistic seductress (Hilary Duff), a repressed voyeur (Josh Peck), and a scheming pregnant teen (Olivia Thirlby). In a gradual reversal of roles, Babbitt soon finds himself learning from this unusual group of kids.[5]



Critical response was generally negative, with Metacritic calculating an average rating of 22% based on 10 reviews.[6] Based on 32 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, it has an average rating of 16% with an average score of 3.3/10.[7] Variety described it as "a pointless and pretentious drama that -- given its title and direct linkage to the 1986 Challenger shuttle disaster—nearly adds tasteless to its unflattering hat trick."[8] The New York Times wrote "There’s some nice filmmaking tucked inside 'What Goes Up,' a muddle of moods and intentions."[9] The Chicago Tribune,[10] The Hollywood Reporter,[11] the Los Angeles Times,[12] and several other publications also panned the film. Some critics, however, did offer positive reviews. Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.com describes the film as "a nifty little tragicomedy... dark, droll and sentimental in roughly the correct proportions."[13] Noel Murray from The AV Club wrote, "Glatzer and [co-writer] Lawson show a deep understanding of how common ideals can hold even a community of outsiders together."[14] Pete Hammond of Hollywood.com called it "a darkly funny and wonderfully twisted story that marches to its own surprising beat."[15] Former WNBC critic Jeffery Lyons, who called it a "wonderful little film,"[16] invited the movie to be screened at the film festival he curates in Breckenridge, Colorado in June, 2009.[17]


The DVD was released in the US on June 16, 2009.[18] It features a revised cut from the theatrical release, which is ten minutes longer with different music and a reordering of some of the scenes. The film was also released in the Netherlands with an alternative cover of Hilary Duff from a photo shoot in 2005.[19] Also in the opening sequence, the film has the alternate title Safety Glass'.


What Goes Up is the soundtrack for the film What Goes Up, released by independent record label Amherst Records. It was digitally released on iTunes on April 29, 2009 and later on the Nokia Music Store. It was released on May 5, 2009 at Amazon.com's MP3 store. The physical CD was released on July 14, 2009.[20][21]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Any Other Day" - 3:42 - Hilary Duff
  2. "Under Wraps" - 3:44 - The Innocent Bystanders
  3. "A Hero Mix" - 1:20 - Roddy Bottum
  4. "New World Anthem" - 4:57 - Jeremy Wall
  5. "The Truth Is" - 3:13 - Anthony Miranda
  6. "Blue Straggler" - 6:51 - Electrelane
  7. "Jesus" - 3:25 - Al Sgro & The Brendan Hines
  8. "Phonebooth Mix" - 3:23 - Roddy Bottum
  9. "Two for Joy" - 5:50 - Electrelane
  10. "Lucy on the Roof Mix" - 1:28 - Roddy Bottum
  11. "Cut and Run" - 3:30 - Electrelane
  12. "Campbell Walks Mix" - 1:01 - Roddy Bottum
  13. "You Make Me Week At the Knees" - 3:21 - Electrelane
  14. "Heroes" - 6:10 - David Bowie
  15. "Never Comin' Back" - 3:55 - The Innocent Bystanders - (bonus track)
  16. "Teenage Moment" - 3:39 - The Innocent Bystanders - (bonus track)
  17. "Kids (Who Never Grew Up)" - 3:18 - The Innocent Bystanders - (bonus track)


  1. ^ 3rd Annual Buffalo Niagara Film Festival, "Press and Industry - What Goes Up". Accessed 17 April 2009.
  2. ^ a b https://web.archive.org/web/20090701040657/http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2009/WGOUP.php. Archived from the original on July 1, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20090422203756/http://www.buffaloniagarafilmfestival.com/safety%20glass.html. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. Retrieved April 17, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "What Goes Up". Whatgoesup-themovie.com. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  5. ^ [1] Archived July 20, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "What Goes Up Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  7. ^ "What Goes Up". Rottentomatoes.com. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  8. ^ Lowry, Brian (2009-05-10). "What Goes Up Movie Review". Variety. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  9. ^ Dargis, Manohla (2009-05-29). "What Goes Up (2009): Stumbling Through Hazy Days of Winter". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
  10. ^ Phillips, Michael (2009-05-29). "'What Goes Up' stars Steve Coogan, Hilary Duff; 'Comedy' misses in almost every respect". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
  11. ^ Alter, Ethan (2009-05-13). "What Goes Up -- Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
  12. ^ Whipp, Glen (2009-05-29). "Ambitious teen setting rings false". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
  13. ^ "Movies". Salon. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Review: What Goes Up · Movie Review · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  15. ^ "What Goes Up Reviews - Hollywood.com". Archive.is. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  16. ^ [2] Archived April 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20090413180534/http://www.breckfilmfest.com/home/theFilms.php?year=2009. Archived from the original on April 13, 2009. Retrieved June 26, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ Malcolm Campbell and Tom Woodward. "News: What Goes Up (US - DVD R1) - DVDActive". Dvdactive. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  19. ^ http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/317WltPfbgL.jpg Archived February 19, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ [3]
  21. ^ [4]

External links[edit]