Review: The Upside of Anger

Posted by: Tom Milroy  //  March 11, 2005 @ 11:59am

Filed under: Movie Reviews 

A couple of things right from the start I usually don't much care for movies aimed at my demographic, and this is the dumbest movie title since The Shawshank Redemption. Having said that, the movie is just fine.

Mike Binder, the writer and director, made this movie with Joan Allen in mind, which is good because she stars in it along with Kevin Costner. There's also Joan's impossibly good-looking daughters as played by Erika Christensen, Evan Rachel Wood, Keri Russell, and Alicia Witt. Joan is Terry Wolfmeyer, stranded with her daughters when her husband up and leaves with his Swedish secretary. She's bitter and angry and as you know, Joan Allen plays bitter and angry rather well (see The Contender).

Kevin Costner is Denny Davies, Terry's neighbor and a former baseball player (how unusual for Kev), who hosts a radio talk show and has a thing for Terry. But she's not so sure, because, you know, she's angry and bitter. Do they get together? Of course, it's the movies, but that's not the point.

The Upside of Anger is filled with nice vignettes that any parent will recognize and empathize with: one daughter doesn't want to attend college; one is getting married; one wants to dance; one is in junior high and may like a gay guy.

Mike Binder is also in the film as Shep, the unkempt and somewhat perverted producer who works with Denny. Shep gets involved with one of the girls and when Terry finds out, she gets angry and bitter all over again.

The upside of this movie: it seems real, unlike a lot of the crap that's out there (hello Beauty Shop!).

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