Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Overlooked DVD of the month - THE UPSIDE OF ANGER

THE UPSIDE OF ANGER is an interesting and original adult drama. (I refrain from calling it a rom-com). It's original because writer-director Mike Binder dares to feature a romance between two mentally and physically out-of-shape middle-aged people. This means that a great "character" actress like Joan Allen can get a starring role as a woman whose husband has apparently left her for his younger PA. She hits the bottle pretty hard and starts an affair with a has-been baseball player called Denny (Kevin Costner). She also has four teenage daughters who have various issues. It's not one of those laugh-out loud movies, although it does contain some wry laughs. And it doesn't have the typical formulaic plot arc where the happy couple meet, argue, get back together. It moves at a patient pace and creates interesting characters. I just think it's lovely to see a mature film for a change, and in some ways, the less epic plot creates a more cohesive and successful film that Binder's later work, REIGN OVER ME.

THE UPSIDE OF ANGER played Sundance in 2005 and opened in the US that year. It didn't open in the UK until May 2007 and is available on DVD.

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