The Upside

At least when they decide to do a remake, they pick an outstanding movie! "The Intouchables" (spelling verified) was an audience favorite ("Most Liked") when this sweet, funny French film was featured at the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival.

Now, we are treated to a couple of proven actors, an experienced director and a screenplay that is ramped up to suit American tastes. Here is how I viewed Director Neil Burger's interpretation of this true story about the unlikely pairing of a paralyzed billionaire and his irrepressible caretaker.

The cast:
  • Kevin Hart ("Ride Along") So what if Dell has a record? All he wants is get a signature to make his parole officer happy. So what if that guy is rich? He still puts his pants on one leg at a time, doesn't he? Well... maybe not...
  • Bryan Cranston ("Robot Chicken") Phillip is sick and tired of timid caretakers. His paralysis didn't happen because he liked to play it safe. Dell is rude? Bring it on!
  • Nichole Kidman ("Big Little Lies") Yvonne has a job to do and Dell is clearly not qualified. She is efficient, elegant and horrified by his crass behavior.
  • Julianna Margulies ("The Good Wife") Lily is a bit too shy for anything beyond an epistolary relationship (look it up...smile...).
  • Aja Naomi King ("How to Get Away With Murder") Latrice has put up with Dell's shenanigans long enough. She has their son to raise and can't keep hoping Dell will change.
As you watch this PG-13 film, please keep in mind that it is based on two very real men who remain friends to this day. You may expect a bit of medical lore, an irreverent mouth and a lot of patented Kevin Hart humor. 

If I were to grumble it would be about Hollywood, once again using racial stereotypes because it's easy. You know, the neglectful father and the delinquent alimony checks. There were some surprises though, like the upscale shower that spoke German. You have to see that one! I also enjoyed Dell's first exposure to opera and how Mozart's Magic Flute is used.

Bottom line? YOYO (You're On Your Own).
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Here is a sample:
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