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What Goes Up (2009)

R  |   |  Drama  |  29 May 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 1,629 users   Metascore: 22/100
Reviews: 24 user | 29 critic | 10 from

Set in the mid-80's when a reporter is sent to cover the Challenger Space Shuttle launch only to become mixed up in the lives of some local students.



, (as Robert Lawson)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lute Lement (as Laura Konechny)


What makes a hero? January, 1986. Campbell Babbitt is a reporter for the New York World, writing a series on a woman who turned the grief of losing a son into civic acts. He falls in love with her, and when she commits suicide, he continues to write made-up stories about her. His editor sends him to New Hampshire to cover the Challenger flight from the town of teacher Christa McAuliffe. The launch is postponed for a few days, giving Campbell time to get to know a group of misfit students whose own teacher killed himself the day Campbell arrives in town. He pieces the story together that led to the suicide, finds himself attracted to a student, and has to sort out his own loss. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Different Class of Misfits



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, language and some drug use, all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

29 May 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Safety Glass  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs




See  »

Did You Know?


The film has been in production for many years. Originally Mandy Moore was cast as Lucy, Michelle Williams was cast as Tess and Peter Sarsgaard was cast as Campbell. Later, Steve Coogan was cast as Campbell and Amber Tamblyn was cast as Tess, Kelli Garner was cast as Peggy, Paul Dano was cast as Jim, Alison Pill was cast as Ann and the singer Nellie McKay was cast as Sue . In early 2008 all six dropped out and Amanda Seyfried was given the role of the character Peggy. She was then cast as Sophie in the film Mamma Mia! (2008) and dropped out of What Goes Up (2009) and was replaced by Sarah Lind. Hilary Duff and Olivia Thirlby were then cast in the roles of Lucy and Tess respectively. Josh Peck, Ingrid Nilson and Andrea Brooks were then cast in the roles of Jim, Ann and Sue respectively. See more »


The Challenger disaster is shown happening on a Thursday. January 28, 1986 was a Tuesday. See more »


References 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) See more »


Any Other Day
Written by Hilary Duff, Jonathan Glatzer, and Robert Lawson
Performed by Hilary Duff
See more »

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User Reviews

A good little indie
17 June 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'What Goes Up' written and directed by first timers Jonathan Glatzer and Robert Lawson, is not a perfect film but it is by no means a terrible film either. At current the film has received 145 votes and has a score of 4.8, well that's just ridiculous and in the review below I hope to explain why.

The Film starts off with much promise, Steve Coogan's acting is superb and the rest of the cast do a very good job too. For the first hour this is a very good film, it's deep, engrossing, and imaginative as it sets up for what seems to be a powerful and emotive story with an interesting array if characters and some brilliant cinematography. I found myself truly captivated, the integration of the Challenger disaster was done very tactfully and we frequently get some wonderful shots from Space that I really liked. However, about an hour in it starts to lose pace followed by a slight loss of direction as the main character, Campbell Babbitt, undergoes a sudden change that really doesn't suit and is poorly developed. The film then goes the same way as Campbell becoming a bit annoying and awkward at times. By the end I found myself feeling a little disappointed as it had thrown almost all the potential it had shown early on, settling of a generic and uninspired end.

All in all 'What Goes Up' is OK, great in parts whilst boring and unoriginal in others, yet, for all its faults I liked it. It may not be perfect but come on people, even 'Little Nicky' has a 5/10 and trust me this is much, much better than 'Little Nicky'. The first hour and brilliant cinematography ensure that 'What Goes Up' is not a 4.8, it's a film defiantly worth watching and one I would happily recommend.


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