The Upside, starring Kevin Hart, Nicole Kidman and Bryan Cranston, was released on January 11, 2019. The movie follows the journey of Dell (played by Hart), as he tries to win back his ex and son. Dell was released from prison and needs to prove he is looking for work to stay out of jail.
Due to a mixup, Dell ends up with the job of caring for Phillip (played by Cranston), who is a quadriplegic and can only move his neck. Kidman plays Phillip’s protective assistant, who is initially wary of Dell. Dell and Phillip each improve their own lives through their relationship. Dell gets Phillip to come out of his shell, and Phillip helps Dell improve his relationship with his son.
One of the funniest parts in the movie is when Dell has to change Phillip’s urine bag and Dell is clearly uncomfortable. A heartwarming scene is when Dell and Phillip go buy hotdogs and when the guy doesn’t address Phillip, Dell stands up for him.
Dell starts painting when living with Phillip, and later in the movie Phillip convinces one of his rich friends to buy the painting for $50,000. Then, Dell’s son finds out that Dell stole a book from Phillip’s library to give him as a present His son is once again hurt and runs away from him again.
In Phillip’s life, he has been corresponding with a woman by letter for a year. Dell is shocked to find that Phillip has never actually met her, and ends up getting him to call the woman and arrange a lunch date. During the lunch date, Phillip and the woman seem to be having a good time, but when she says she cannot be in a relationship with him because he is a quadriplegic, Phillip angrily leaves.
Phillip then fires Dell, along with Yvonne, and Dell uses the $50,000 to start a business. Six months later, the physical therapy person who worked with Philip(and who Dell had a crush on), tells him Phillip is not doing well, has become withdrawn, refuses to eat anything or see anyone.
Rotten Tomatoes said The Upside was “Preachy, manipulative, and frustratingly cliched, The Upside showcases Bryan Phillip and Kevin Hart’s chemistry without ever taking full advantage of it.
According to Metacritic, The Upside received mixed or average reviews, and the most common issue for them is the predictable plot line.
The Upside has done well at the box office, raking in upwards of $80 million so far, and on pace for nearly $100 million. According to Rotten Tomatoes, over 85 percent of audiences liked it, and the average audience rating was close to four-and a half stars out of five, which was good considering the movie wasn’t supposed to do well.