The Upside brings people together with laughs

French remake comedy film connects two completely different worlds in a divided world.


permission from STX Entertainment

Bryan Cranston as Phillip, Jahi Di’Allo Winston as Anthony and Kevin Hart as Dell all star in The Upside

Avery Gregorash, A&E Editor

A new feel good movie, The Upside gave the audience hope, joy and a good laugh.

Its first week in theaters The Upside, directed by Neil Burger brought in over $20.4 million making it the top box office movie, taking over Aquaman’s long held spot.

The movie starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston was a big hit and had the audience members constantly laughing.

Based on the true story of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, a quadriplegic who was involved in a paragliding accident at the age of 42 in 1993, and Abdel Sellouwho. Abdel became Philippe’s caretaker after getting out of jail and looking for a job with government support.

Borgo and Sellouwho had a special and unusual connection. In an interview at The Intouchables premiere Borgo said,”I’m disabled, but he is also a little bit disabled. In his case, he was socially very disabled, coming out of jail, basically. “ While they were different in so many ways they became very close and shared a similar feeling of displacement in the world.

Philippe later wrote a book called, “You Changed My Life” which was written as a memoir to Abdel for how much of an impact he had on Phillippe’s life. While not everything was shown in the movie, The Upside truly portrays the beauty of Sellouwho and Borgo’s inspiring story.

The movie begins with Phillip (Bryan Cranston) and his assistant Yvonne (Nicole Kidman) looking for a caregiver for him. Once Dell (Kevin Hart) appears, the inspiring story begins.

The Upside added humorous scenes to this story that were true events that Borgo and Sellouwho experienced while being friends. Involving scenes with drug use, inappropriate jokes and just anything funny, this movie showed a side to this story that not many people had known before.

Dell brought a comedic and lighthearted feel to an otherwise sad story. Being a comedian in real life, the character comes naturally to Hart. This made the jokes feel legitimate and not as staged.

The chemistry between Hart and Cranston felt so genuine to the audience it seemed as if they’d been friends their whole lives. They truly portrayed the friendship between Borgo and Sellouwho beautifully.

However, The Upside was not the first movie on this story. In 2011 The Intouchables was made in France, starring François Cluzet as Philippe and Omar Sy as Driss.

There were many similar scenes in The Intouchables and The Upside. The similar scenes tended to be the ones that had happened in real life. From the paragliding accident Phillipe/Phillip experienced to Driss/Dell needing a job after jail time. Both movies were incredible in portraying the true story.

The Upside scored a 4.3 out five on Rotten Tomatoes from audience rating. Even by just sitting in the theater it was obvious audience members loved the film. From loud bursts of laughter, sniffling from tears and just smiling at the forming of a friendship between Dell and Phillip, The Upside was an incredible and pure movie.

The Upside pulled at the heartstrings of the audience members leaving them satisfied and pleased with this remake of a beautiful story.