6.9/10
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The Upside of Anger (2005)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 1 April 2005 (USA)
When her husband unexpectedly disappears, a sharp-witted suburban wife and her daughters juggle their mom's romantic dilemmas and family dynamics.

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5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tom Harper ...
David Junior
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Gorden Reiner
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Grey Wolfmeyer
Magdalena Manville ...
Darlene
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Gina
David Firth ...
David Senior
Rod Woodruff ...
Dean Reiner (as Roderick P. Woodruff)
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Emily's Doctor
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Storyline

A sharp-witted suburban wife, Terry Wolfmeyer, is left to raise her four headstrong daughters when her husband unexpectedly disappears. Things get even more hectic when she falls for her neighbor Denny, a once-great baseball star turned radio d.j. This leaves her daughters out on a limb. They are forced to juggle their mom's romantic dilemmas as well as their own. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes what tears us apart helps us put it back together See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexual situations, brief comic violence and some drug use | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

1 April 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Outra Face da Raiva  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$211,559 (USA) (11 March 2005)

Gross:

$18,761,993 (USA) (24 June 2005)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mike Binder approached singer-turned-actress Mandy Moore to play Lavender "Popeye" but she backed out because she wanted to do publicity for an upcoming album. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, the position of Denny's arms in bed is inconsistent. See more »

Quotes

Terry Wolfmeyer: [answering phone] Hello?
Denny Davies: What, what are you doing?
Terry Wolfmeyer: Oh, making the girls' lunches.
Denny Davies: Good for you.
Terry Wolfmeyer: Yeah, what the hell. I'm going after the Mother-of-the-year award.
See more »

Connections

Features The Screaming Skull (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Lavinia
Written by Finn Andrews
Performed by The Veils
Courtesy of Rough Trade
By Arrangement with Sanctuary Records Group
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User Reviews

 
The Upside of My Expectations
13 September 2005 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

After her performance in "The Ice Storm" it is no surprise that Joan Allen could carry a movie like "The Upside of Anger". Nor was it a surprise that she and Alicia Witt could beautifully play off each other in their confrontational mother and daughter roles. What did surprise was that the film featured equally strong performances from the other members of the cast. Even writer/director Mike Binder does a fine "on-screen" job as a slimy but not entirely unsympathetic radio producer. Kevin Costner would be wise to stay with this type of role (and with comedy) instead of big-budget epic stuff.

The casting of Witt with Erika Christensen, Evan Rachel Wood, and Keri Russell as the four sisters was inspired. It was refreshing just to see a film family that looked enough alike physically to actually be related to each other. Since Christensen looks so much like Julia Stiles they could have even added a fifth sister although their resemblance is so strong that it might be confusing. All the subtle birth order distinctions felt right. The oldest (Witt) was the most connected to mom even though it did not appear so on the surface. The second (Christensen-who absolutely glows on the screen) was determined to be different than her older sister. The third (Russell) was the most connected to the father, missed him the most, and had the least understanding of the mother. The youngest (Wood) was way ahead of the curve and the most perceptive character in the film. Watch for all this stuff because it is there, and watch how no matter how down the mother becomes she continues to monitor the welfare of her daughters.

Binder gave into the temptation to use cheesy special effect gimmicks several times (the explosion at the dinner table, the neighborhood transition from summer to winter, the ballet fantasy, and the daughters growing older during the funeral scene). Although done well they seemed out of place. Also Binder should review the Kent State shootings, there were four students killed-not six.

There is a spectacular shot at the wedding. Beginning as an over the shoulder shot of Hadley (Witt) sucking in her "plump" cheeks, the camera pans slightly right and moves toward the wedding party as the focus changes to bring them out of a blur.

The film's ironic twist in the last 15 minutes is borrowed wholesale from "Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice". I particularly liked Wood's beautiful narration which helped clarify the title and theme, necessary (or at least helpful) after this ironic story line twist. She managed to sound both detached and involved, it is actually the voice-over for her broadcasting class project. When we are suddenly forced to reevaluate everything that has gone before in what we thought was just an interesting comedy, Wood steps in and steers us to internalize the theme. They go out on a shot of Wood looking up from her Mac and smiling. Amazing.

This is the best of Binder's writing: "Anger and resentment can stop you in your tracks. That's what I know now. It needs nothing to burn but the air and the life that it swallows and smothers. It's real though, the fury, even when it isn't. It can change you, turn you, mold you and shape you into something you're not. The only upside of anger then, is the person you become, hopefully someone that wakes up one day and realizes they're not afraid of its journey. Someone that knows that the truth is, at best, a partially told story. That anger, like growth, comes in spurts and fits and in its wake leaves a new chance of acceptance and the promise of calm".

"The Upside of Anger" is one of those rare films that I believe everyone should make an effort to connect with, doing so will make you a better person. Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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