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The Upside of Anger (2005

The Upside of AngerThree and a Half Stars

Who’s in it

Kevin Costner, Joan Allen, Erika Christensen, Keri Russell, Alicia Witt, Evan Rachel Wood

What was good

Kevin Costner as the aging drunk ex-baseball player (don’t worry, they don’t dwell on this over common casting) and Joan Allen as the neurotic mother who one day wakes up and her husband is gone. She assumes that he has run off to Sweden with his secretary and she is broken. I have always thought Allen was a very good actress, and Costner although you never really get pulled into his character, it is a natural fit for him. I really liked the messed up relationships between all of the characters in the movie, each of the girls and their love interests, Allen and Costner, Keri Russell and Allen, it was all so messed up it was funny. Plus the ending has a great big emotional twist that I would never have expected, such a small sub plot that is running throughout the background of the movie turns everyone’s world upside down, I like that.

What sucked

The fact that this movie is about messed up people. I imagine the average person would hate this movie. The relationships are unnatural, but the circumstances are unnatural so I don’t dwell on that. Would Allen and Costner get so close so quick after the father left, maybe. She needed someone to fill a void, to be there for her bitching, and to help even her emotions out around the girls who also need support. Most of the characters minus the girls are people you love to hate, they are devious, especially Costner’s production manager at his radio show.

Who should go see this

Kevin Costner doesn’t have a typical movie anymore, so you wouldn’t go to see this movie for that reason. I would say that if you like dysfunctional families, this is just for you. They are believable, human, lost, mixed up, and so neurotic it’s hilarious. I would say if you have a touch of a twisted sense of humor, you may like this. I wouldn’t let my parents see this, and I wouldn’t watch this on a Friday night, but I would watch this as a married couple and say, “Let’s never be like that.” I imagine it may be something like “The Family Stone” if I ever get to see that.

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