When I saw the trailer for The Upside, there was something very familiar about it. After a few minutes, I worked it out. The Upside is based on a true story which has already been adapted into a movie, a French movie which I’ve already actually watched. Even though I knew the story, I went along to a screening of The Upside and I’m glad to say it’s definitely worth your time.
What is the True Story Behind The Upside
The Upside is far from an original take on the true story behind the life of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo. In fact, The Upside is the third movie based on the story of how di Borgo, a wealthy French businessman, who following a paragliding accident, was left a diabetic quadriplegic. At the heart of the story which has now hit the big screen as The Intouchables in France, The Inseparables in Spain and now The Upside in Hollywood is the unlikely relationship between di Borgo and Abdel Sellou.
While di Borgo was the son of a French duke and born into great wealth, Abdel was a career criminal from Algeria. He crossed paths with di Borgo because he applied for the job of being his carer purely to meet the requirements to keep claiming his income support.
What is The Upside About?
If I was to keep things really simple, I’d describe The Upside as your classic buddy movie. Kevin Hart plays as Dell Scott (Sellou in this story) and Bryan Cranston plays as Phillip Lacasse (di Borgo). True to their real lives, the two cross paths as Scott, desperate to collect his unemployment benefit, seeks out work and stumbles upon the position of life auxiliary for Lacasse. Lacasse, tired of the usually clean-cut experts takes to Scott’s more direct, street style.
Naturally, from here, it’s all about their adventures together as they also battle with their own personal demons and problems.
Is It Any Good?
If you’re to ask me – yes, absolutely. I battled with the knowledge that there was a very good version of this movie out there already in the original French version. My biggest fear with the remake would be that it went all Hollywood. But The Upside largely stays honest to the true story at the core of the tale and rejects the temptation to go “big Hollywood”.
Cranston is his usual brilliant self and arguably, Nicole Kidman who plays Lacasse’s assistant could have been used to deliver something more. But of everyone in this movie, it’s Kevin Hart who delivers some of the deepest moments along with some of the best laughs. To be honest, the three of them together gel perfectly and make this a buddy movie that will lift your spirits. It’s a good old fashioned uplifting buddy movie.
Critics are largely slating the movie and I really don’t get it. Now, it could be down to the fact it’s a remake that doesn’t change much beyond the language being spoken, but I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to not pop into the cinema and check this out,
The Upside is in cinemas nationwide now.