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.


Jonathan Glatzer


Jonathan Glatzer, Robert C. Lawson (as Robert Lawson)
1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Coogan ... Campbell Babbitt
Hilary Duff ... Lucy Diamond
Olivia Thirlby ... Tess Sullivan
Josh Peck ... Jim Lement
Molly Shannon ... Penelope Little
Molly Price ... Donna Arbetter
Max Hoffman ... Fenster Itski
Sarah Lind ... Peggy Popoladopolous
Laura Carswell ... Lute Lement (as Laura Konechny)
Ingrid Nilson ... Ann
Andrea Brooks ... Sue
Andrew Wheeler ... Principal Person
Gabrielle Rose ... Mrs. Bridigan
Colleen Rennison ... Sylvia
Aubrey Mozino ... Blythe


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


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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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 »


Campbell Babbitt: Legends aren't born, they're written. And really that's what we all do, one way or another, when someone we love dies. And not just anyone, but someone extraordinary... Why not a hero? When they up and die, we're left with nothing. Nothing but the task to make them immortal. Only a magnificent epitaph will grant eternal life. And it's up to us, the ones left behind, to write it. However we see fit.
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Alternate Versions

The version released in theaters was 10 minutes shorter, had several scenes reordered and had a number of different music cues. This was the version preferred by the filmmakers. Sony Pictures was unable to release this version on DVD citing time constraints. 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 »

User Reviews

Nice, Quirky Cult Classic
31 May 2009 | by oddlynn3See all my reviews

I was privileged enough to see this film with one of the producers tonight in Las Vegas. I went with some trepidation as I had heard from my DIL, who's the producer's niece, that while she thought the first cut was good, it had some issues. And unfortunately, I am very critical when it comes to movies due to my writing background.

I have to say I was truly amazed at the quirkiness and depth of this story. Yes, it did have some issues. There were places where I would have liked to have more in-depth characterization, there were places I thought the pacing was slow. The acting was good and dead on with what characters had on their plates. And in all honesty, this is the type of movie that comes out of the blue and ends up a cult favorite. It is that good in some strange way.

Maybe part of this is because I can remember this week so well myself. I was just out of college and worked for Lockheed. We were on top of the world and it just came crashing down on us all that Thursday morning. I can't imagine having the whole week being that bad. LOL!

Then again, maybe it's the part about being adult enough to understand when you've done something wrong yet there is no way to ever take it back. I remember this lesson well.

Or maybe, it's just that the misfits are so true to life that I can empathize with what is going on in their lives. I know that I would have been devastated if my favorite teacher had died during my high school years no matter what the cause.

Still, it would have been worse if said teacher had committed suicide. I was angsty enough then to have wondered if it were my fault in any way at all.

Adding all these elements up, you have one heck of a story that can appeal to the masses. I have to say, I liked it.

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Release Date:

29 May 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Safety Glass See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,240, 31 May 2009

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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