The Upside is based on a true story about a rich quadriplegic man who hires an ex-con as his live-in caretaker. The Upside made some changes from the true story. Instead of a son of a wealthy French Duke who was paralyzed, they went with a wealthy American businessman whose father gave him nothing and he earned every penny himself. Instead of an Arabic career-criminal from Algeria, we get the always entertaining Kevin Hart who plays a thief fresh out of prison in New York. While these background changes (along with a few others) could absolutely make for a drastically different story, it seems the rest of the tale stays pretty true to the original.
Going into The Upside, I was prepared for an emotional rollercoaster with minimal comedy. I got the opposite of that. While it could have benefited from a more emotional core, the humor had me rolling. You know when you watch Saturday Night Live and the funniest parts of the show are when the actors break down laughing when they aren’t supposed to? That is what Bryan Cranston’s performance was like throughout the entire movie. It was like he was trying to be serious, but he couldn’t help but laugh at Kevin Hart. There is a scene where neither actor could stop laughing at each other, which was contagious and I could not stop laughing along with them. I laughed harder and longer in The Upside than I have in a movie for a very long time.
It is very possible that The Upside caught me at just the right time for me to appreciate it as much as I did. There are a lot of things I would have changed to help the story hit home a bit better, however, I enjoyed the experience. I am looking forward to the next Kevin Hart/Bryan Cranston collaboration!