Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart are fan favorites for work that, on the surface, seems very different. One is an Emmy-winning actor, renowned for his powerful dramatic performance in Breaking Bad. The other is a tenured comedian who can make us laugh with seemingly no effort at all. Their different career paths make them seem like a total odd couple.
And yet the pairing works for The Upside, which opens on January 11. The film is based on a true story, and is also a remake of the French film The Intouchables. The story follows a paralyzed billionaire played by Cranston, who strikes up an unlikely friendship with his new caregiver (Hart). If the film’s trailer is anything to go by, this surprising pair will get on incredibly well.
A New Outlook On Life
On paper, Phillip Lacasse has it all. He’s a billionaire with a lavish penthouse and a garage full of sports cars. He’s also paralyzed, and needs around-the-clock care. Dell Scott is a convict out on parole, desperate to get his life back on track as he fights to see his son.
The two men cross paths when Dell begins searching for a new job in order to stay out of prison. Phillip’s assistant (Nicole Kidman) doesn’t believe he is the right man to provide her boss with the care he needs. The billionaire, however, sees something in Dell. He’s impressed (and perhaps touched) by Dell’s complete lack of tact — and absence of fawning pity. For once, somebody sees past Phillip’s physical condition.
Though they’re polar opposites with completely different approaches to life, they embark upon an adventure together. Phillip’s wealthy lifestyle allows Dell to see how the “other half” lives, and gives him a purpose, while Dell’s boundless personality teaches Phillip that his condition doesn’t have to stop him from truly living. Their differences are actually a connection, and a path to common ground.
Between the two, Hart may be better known as a comedian, but Cranston has been making us laugh for longer than Hart has even been in show business. Long before he was winning consecutive Emmy Awards for Breaking Bad, the distinguished actor was best known for his roles on sitcoms Malcolm In The Middle and Seinfeld. Not only does The Upside give Cranston another chance to remind us just how strong his comic chops are, but it also pairs him with another comedy pro.
As highlighted by the film’s trailer, Phillip doesn’t just appreciate Dell for speaking his mind; he’s willing to return the favor. The pair have tremendous on-screen chemistry. They naturally bounce off one other, giving life not only to the jokes in the script, but to the entire story. The Upside may have a deep meaning about the value of life, but it isn’t afraid to poke fun at the hilarity of these two completely different individuals forming a unique bond.
The Upside hits theaters on January 11, 2019.