Sometimes you just wish you were suddenly stricken polydactyl so you could give a movie four thumbs down.
We saw the Upside of Anger this weekend. My compassion for people who want to save their time and money compels me to give you the five main reasons why you should not see this movie.
1) Poor Keri Russell plays someone who is either a fresh high school graduate or a stay-at-home dancer of an age somewhere between seventeen and pre-college. Who knows? It’s never made clear. And isn’t Keri Russell like 40? I saw her in a play in New York and she was a full grown woman. Why is she suddenly a child? This kind of casting hasn’t happened since Nicole Kidman played an ingénue in Cold Mountain. This kind of movie making makes me want to shoot Jude Law.
2) Poor Joan Allen. Yeah, she can be angry, obviously. And she does it. But it all seems so put on. She can even switch between being nice one second and angry the next. Sort of believable. But did you ever notice when a real person is angry, they don’t look anything or behave in any way like Joan Allen? Plus, let’s face it, the only reason she’s been in so many movies is because she is tall, white, blonde and thin. She is so pre-Mexican America. This kind of movie making makes me want to shoot Jude Law.
3) Poor Kevin Costner. He was actually great in this movie and I am no fan of his. He was seamless in his interpretation. The writer also knew what he was doing when he wrote this part. And this is a good thing. But the poor guy. Baseball, again? Can't you just wait until he’s 80 and he plays the baseball ghost coming back to give us all life lessons in sports and Jesus? Such obvious, safe casting. This kind of movie making makes me want to shoot Jude Law.
4) Poor Alicia Witt. She doesn’t look anything like the three other sisters but there is something much worse that happens to her in this movie. She gets married and is a tidge pregnant and they stuff her into a strapless ivory wedding dress that is about 1.5 sizes too small. The effect is that her right tit is strangled and mangled and at the same time loosened and dropped into a shape that can only be described as sagging and lumping. It’s the shape you notice in your tit the day you realize you are no longer hot. The costumer should be put in prison. This kind of movie making makes me want to shoot Jude Law.
5) Poor Mike Binder. Yeah, there’s some funny stuff in this flick and he did attempt to write about adults, sort of. But he sold out every single truth about how people behave in real life so he could have calculated scenes that add up to either measured schmaltz or hackneyed comedy we’ve seen nine millions times. Mother of the bride gets drunk when she meets the parents of the groom? Of course. The pregnant daughter who needs to supply more booze to quiet mom, drinks right along with her—Joan and Alicia sucking on bloody Marys— and no one up on the screen ever says, “Alicia, you’re pregnant. Put down that glass.” The father of the family disappears and no one EVER thinks he might be dead? They’re all surprised when they find his rotting corpse? Joan was pissed off all this time when she could have been grieving? And poor little Evan Rachel Wood, cutie girl, has to make a class film about it? At every turn, there is something completely unbelievable. You just want someone to poke your eyes out with the straw from your overpriced soft drink and then have someone else poor hot butter into your ears so you won’t have to listen to this mess. This kind of movie making makes me want to shoot Jude Law.
There is only one reason to go see this movie: The kitchen in the house. It has great green, tall cabinets. Better yet, go rent a movie that stars Jude Law. And invite Sean over to watch it with you.