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The Upside of Anger (2005)

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

Director:

Mike Binder

Writer:

Mike Binder
5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Allen ... Terry Ann Wolfmeyer
Kevin Costner ... Denny Davies
Erika Christensen ... Andy Wolfmeyer
Keri Russell ... Emily Wolfmeyer
Alicia Witt ... Hadley Wolfmeyer
Evan Rachel Wood ... Lavender 'Popeye' Wolfmeyer
Mike Binder ... Adam 'Shep' Goodman
Tom Harper ... David Junior
Dane Christensen ... Gorden Reiner
Danny Webb ... Grey Wolfmeyer
Magdalena Manville Magdalena Manville ... Darlene
Suzanne Bertish ... Gina
David Firth David Firth ... David Senior
Rod Woodruff ... Dean Reiner (as Roderick P. Woodruff)
Stephen Greif ... 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 | Plot 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 April 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Outra Face da Raiva See more »

Filming Locations:

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$211,559, 13 March 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$18,761,993, 26 June 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mike Binder wrote the script specifically to give Joan Allen a juicy starring role. See more »

Goofs

In the credits, thanks are given to Universal Pictures for allowing them to use a still photo of Kevin Costner from "For the Love of the Game". The first "the" is wrong, the correct title is For Love of the Game. See more »

Quotes

Hadley Wolfmeyer: There's something you all should know.
Lavender "Popeye" Wolfmeyer: You're pregnant and you're getting married.
Hadley Wolfmeyer: How did you know that? Who told you that?
Lavender "Popeye" Wolfmeyer: I guessed? Really? I guessed that? I was right?
Terry Wolfmeyer: No, you've got to be kidding me.
Hadley Wolfmeyer: No, I'm... I'm not. I'm getting married.
Terry Wolfmeyer: This is how I find out? Through Popeye? A 15-year-old?
Lavender "Popeye" Wolfmeyer: Don't be condescending...
Terry Wolfmeyer: Close it! You are a child. What do *you* know?
Andy Wolfmeyer: Oh, that old chestnut.
[...]
See more »

Connections

References For Love of the Game (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Star Struck
Written by Ryan Key
Performed by Yellowcard
Courtesy of Bonanza Music Library
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Crass Imitation of "Heart Warming Family Drama"

"The Upside of Anger" is a crass imitation of "heart warming family drama." There are a couple of lines of dialogue that ring true, and a couple of scenes that work really well, but the true moments are awash in a movie so crass, exploitative, and phony it made me cringe.

Mike Binder, the filmmaker, earned a lot of brownie points for making a movie about a woman over forty, starring an actress over forty: Joan Allen.

But Binder is sure to surround Allen with a bevy of young beauties. Somehow this woman had four daughters who always look like they are posing for the cover of "Seventeen" magazine. Every one -- one a blonde, one a brunette, one a redhead -- is, in every scene, provocatively dressed, perfectly coiffed, and without a single zit. Tell me, in how many families with that many teenagers can you find not a single pimple or kid who's too skinny or too fat, or too shy or too loud, or who moves awkwardly? Feh.

Joan Allen bears about as much relation to a real woman over forty as Mickey bears to a real mouse. She drinks alcoholically, and yet never has puffy eyes or sallow skin. After relying on alcohol for months, she just, one day, quits, with no addictive kickback. I don't think so.

Oh, and the day her husband disappears, an incredibly attractive man -- Kevin Costner! -- throws himself at her. Oh, yeah, this happens to every newly single woman over forty with four kids. In Fantasyland! And, after her husband disappears, she never does a thing to attempt to contact him, but, somehow, his money continues to support her lifestyle, which is just a bit short of a Donald Trump style life. Where is all that cash coming from? Sure, this is a movie, and movies aren't supposed to be real. But this movie advertises itself as a film that takes on tough problems. There should be a word for this -- advertising your film as a film that addresses alcohol abuse, the loneliness of an abandoned, older mother, suddenly finding oneself single -- and then lies about every one of those important issues.

there are a couple of good scenes that just make everything around them look more like drek. An older, nebbishy character (Mike Binder, the filmmaker, also plays a small part in the movie), tells Joan Allen exactly why he chases younger women. His point is a valid one, and that scene deserves to be in a better movie.

Throughout the movie, Joan Allen plays a self absorbed ice shrew who deals with life and loved ones by pouring herself a stiff drink, sitting around in her negligee, and refusing to speak, while shooting death rays with her eyes. This is never believable, because we all know and love Joan Allen, and she's the star of the movie, so we keep waiting for her to show what a great gal she really is at heart.

Kevin Costner, though, reaches a point where he won't put up with this any more, and he emphatically tells her, "I'm tired of being your bitch." This is an electric scene, and it very much deserves to be in a much better, braver, grittier, funnier, tougher movie.

Finally, the last act offers a surprise ending that makes everything that came before it cheaper and utterly unbelievable.

Given the great cast here, and the good intentions, somewhere, in here, there is a good movie dying to get out. Sadly, it never quite does.

You almost want the cast to reassemble at some point in the future, and try again.


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