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"THE UPSIDE OF ANGER"
(2005) (Joan Allen, Kevin Costner) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Heavy Heavy Mild Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor None *Moderate Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild Heavy Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A woman tries to deal with her anger regarding her husband who's disappeared and left her alone to raise their daughters whose actions and decisions challenge her in various ways.
PLOT:
Terry Wolfmeyer (JOAN ALLEN) is a bitter, middle-aged woman who's trying to drown her anger in booze and emotional detachment. She's angry because her husband, Gray, has seemingly run off with his younger secretary, thus leaving Terry to deal with their four daughters who test her resolve every day.

There's Hadley (ALICIA WITT), the oldest who cares the least for her mother and is off at college. Emily (KERI RUSSELL) isn't eating anything since she wants to become a ballet dancer, much to her mother's dismay, which similarly holds true for Andy (ERIKA CHRISTENSEN) who's decided she's not going to college but instead is going to get a job. Then there's 15-year-old Popeye (EVAN RACHEL WOOD) who's making some sort of video project about violence and anger when not hanging out with Gordon (DANE CHRISTENSEN), a guy she likes romantically despite the fact that he says he's gay.

Compounding Terry's issues and feelings is Denny Davies (KEVIN COSTNER), a former pro baseball player and current alcoholic who hosts a radio talk show when not hawking baseball paraphernalia sporting his signature. The laidback Denny initially just wants a drinking buddy and Terry begrudgingly complies, but the two start developing feelings for each other as the months and years pass.

In the meantime, Terry must put up with her daughters and their various decisions about their lives. That includes Andy taking a job working for Denny's radio show producer Shep Goodman (MIKE BINDER) who wants nothing to do with her until he lays his eyes on her beauty. He not only gives her a job at the station, but he also becomes her boyfriend, much to Terry's horror. From that point on, and as she tries to figure out her relationship with Denny, Terry must deal with that and various other unexpected developments and decisions that arise in her life.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens might be interested in it, as might anyone who's a fan of someone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language, sexual situations, brief comic violence and some drug use.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOAN ALLEN plays a bitter woman who's angry that her husband has apparently run off with his secretary, leaving her to deal with their teenage daughters with whom she clashes over various issues. She drinks a lot, smokes a few times, uses profanity, and has sex with Denny.
  • KEVIN COSTNER plays a former pro baseball player turned radio talk show host who drinks a lot, smokes pot, uses strong profanity, and falls for and has sex with Terry.
  • ERIKA CHRISTENSEN plays Terry's daughter who doesn't want to go to college, but instead wants to be a reporter, and so takes a job with Shep, ending up in a sexual relationship with him.
  • KERI RUSSELL plays her sister who's starving herself to be a ballet dancer. She uses strong profanity, and is upset with her mom for not supporting her dream.
  • EVAN RACHEL WOOD plays the youngest sister, a high school student who falls for Gordon despite him stating he's gay, and is making some sort of video project about anger and violence.
  • ALICIA WITT plays the oldest daughter who dislikes their mom the most. She ends up getting pregnant in college (and then marries her boyfriend).
  • MIKE BINDER plays Denny's lecherous radio show producer who only gives Andy a job after setting eyes on her. He then ends up having a sexual relationship with her, and when that's over, he propositions Terry for the same.
  • DANE CHRISTENSEN plays the young guy who Popeye likes, but claims he's gay. He smokes pot with her.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's been rated R. Profanity consists of at least 11 uses of the "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Various instances of sexually related dialogue (some of them explicit) are present, while a sexual encounter is partially seen (the guy on top of the woman under the sheets at the end of sex) and an older man has a sexual relationship with a high school graduate (they're seen in bed together). A man twice sees a woman coming out of the shower nude, a college student gets pregnant, and a high school student tries to convince her gay friend to have sex with her to prove that he's not gay.

    The two main characters are alcoholics and do a great deal of drinking (and others drink as well), while the main guy also smokes pot, as does a high school student, and a few characters smoke cigarettes. Various characters have bad attitudes, including a mother toward her daughters and vice-versa, thus leading to tense family moments (some of them also stemming from them believing the husband/father has run off with his secretary). A funeral bookends the film.

    A video project shows various flash images of violence (people hitting others -- some real, some comical -- a dead body, explosions, etc.), while an imagined scene shows a man's head blowing up with very bloody and gory results (although it's played for laughs) and a woman slugs a man for sleeping with her daughter. Finally, some potentially imitative behavior is present.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Most every time we see Terry, she has a drink.
  • Terry drinks and appears to be a mixture of tipsy and mad. She then has another drink.
  • Denny shows up at the door holding a beer. Terry asks if he's stoned and he says, "Yeah." After a moment, he says that he'll just sit and drink with her and the two then do that.
  • There's talk of Denny being a drunk.
  • Terry buys many bottles of vodka at the store.
  • Terry has a drink.
  • Shep does an impression of Denny by acting like he's drinking and going "glug, glug, glug."
  • Denny arrives with a beer and makes himself a drink in Terry's house.
  • We see Terry in the shower (a head and shoulders shot) and when she steps out of it, Denny is sitting there holding drinks for both of them.
  • Denny and Terry have drinks and then again with dinner. After that, he has a beer and she has a drink.
  • Terry has a drink with dinner.
  • We see beer bottles on Denny's nightstand several times.
  • Terry asks Denny, "Are you stoned." He replies, "Not at all, not a bit." She then states, "Well, you should be."
  • Rattled by learning that Hadley is pregnant and getting married, Terry tells a waiter that she needs a Bloody Mary as soon as humanly possible (Hadley orders one as well). When Terry gets hers, she downs it in one gulp and immediately orders another one.
  • Terry's family and her future in-laws raise a toast to Hadley and her fiancÚ.
  • Denny smokes a joint.
  • Terry and Denny have drinks with dinner.
  • Denny and Terry have drinks.
  • Gordon smokes from a bong and we see that Popeye has a towel at the bottom of her bedroom door to prevent the smoke and smell from going into the rest of the house (but we don't see her smoke any).
  • Denny and Terry have drinks.
  • Miscellaneous people have champagne at a wedding (in various shots), while Denny has a beer and Terry is then drinking while in yet another angry state.
  • Denny smokes a cigarette or joint (we see the smoke by him). He also has a beer.
  • Hadley and her hubbie have beer.
  • Gordon tries to do a bungee jump from a tree outside Popeye's bedroom, but ends up swinging on the elastic band and crashing through the window to the floor (he's okay after a moment of no movement). During this, she tells him, "You are so stoned" and he replies, "Yeah, I know."
  • Terry passes by bottles of liquor in a store without buying any, while we see cases of beer in the background of the shot.
  • Denny offers Terry a drink, but she declines the offer.
  • People drink at a wake, including Denny who has a beer.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • After the family dog feeds on a roasted chicken on the table and Emily then has some, Hadley jokes, "You're licking his *sshole right now."
  • We see brief glimpses of violent footage (some just split-second flashes) that Popeye is assembling into some sort of video/computer project). During this, we briefly see a body being dumped into a trench.
  • Shep slurps his soup, irritating Terry while doing so. She gets so mad that she imagines his head suddenly exploding in a huge, bloody mess, with blood and goo all over her, Denny and the wall, and with Shep's severed nose then being in a soup bowl (played for laughs).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • We hear that Terry's husband ran off with his younger secretary, but we later learn that isn't the case.
  • Denny talks about how much he likes Terry (on the radio) despite promising not to do that (played for laughs).
  • Denny makes up the news that Shep needs a production assistant (so that Andy can get a job at the station). When Shep learns of this, he refuses since he doesn't have such an opening, but when he spots how attractive the teen is (and instantly turns lecherous), he changes his mind and offers her a job.
  • Terry gives "the finger" to a guy who's always telling her to slow down while driving through a neighborhood.
  • When Terry meets Hadley's fiancÚ and his father (both named David), she states that they're obviously not Jews. She then continues to make a scene in front of them and her family in a restaurant.
  • There's more strife between Terry and Emily over the latter's life choices, with Emily telling her mom, "I wish you would take me seriously." When she gets really mad at her, she then says, "Do you have any idea what a f*cking idiot you sound like sometimes?"
  • Hadley gets mad at her mom when Terry says that Hadley's face is "plump" at her wedding (she meant it as a compliment).
  • Terry runs into Shep in a store and he comes on to her. She then sarcastically asks him, "So you want to come over and sleep with me?" After some discussion that doesn't go well for him, she says, "You were doing better when you just wanted to screw me." He replies, "I never wanted to screw you."
  • Denny later confronts Shep about the above, saying, "You wanted to screw her." Shep says he didn't but adds (about Andy), "I knocked off a great piece of ass."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Shep slurps his soup, irritating Terry while doing so. She gets so mad that she imagines his head suddenly exploding in a huge, bloody mess, with blood and goo all over her, Denny and the wall, and with Shep's severed nose then being in a soup bowl (played for laughs).
  • Tired of the way she's acting and treating him, Denny gets mad and kicks down the bathroom door with which she's locked him out (and Terry looks scared by his actions).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We see violent footage from Popeye's computer/video project (some of it comical, some not), including a woman holding a gun on a man and a nuclear bomb explosion and resultant blast across the ground.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Like f*ck I do," "Do you have any idea what a f*cking idiot you sound like sometimes?" "F*ck you," "Fat f*cks," "At least it's f*cking real," "It's a tall order for a patient m*therf*cker," "You're so full of sh*t," "Oh sh*t," "That's bullsh*t," "Sh*tbox," "Sh*tty," "Holy mother of sh*t," "I knocked off a great piece of ass" (sexual), "D*ckhead," "Bitching," "G*ddamn you," "Bust my hump," "You're such a mental," "Flipped out," "Nuts" (crazy), "Pinhead," "Suck," "You know damn well," "Pisses me off," "What the hell," "So damn much," "Close it," "Damn you," "I made an ass of myself," "Don't be an *sshole," "Fat ass," "Hell no," "I am so sick of being your bitch," "A bug up their ass," "Kissing her ass," "You scared the hell out of me," "You have quite an ass," "Jeez" and "Wigging out."
  • Terry gives "the finger" to a guy who's always telling her to slow down while driving through a neighborhood.
  • Terry wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • We see a person doing a bungee jump.
  • Emily wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • Gordon tries to do a bungee jump from a tree outside Popeye's bedroom, but ends up swinging on the elastic band and crashing through the window to the floor (he's okay after a moment of no movement). During this, she tells him, "You are so stoned" and he replies, "Yeah, I know."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Shep slurps his soup, irritating Terry while doing so. She gets so mad that she imagines his head suddenly exploding in a huge, bloody mess (played for laughs).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • The Billy Idol song, "Rebel Yell," has what may be sexual lyrics, "With a rebel yell, she cried more, more, more."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 11 "f" words (1 used with "mother" and 1 used sexually as are variations of "screw," "laid" and "knocked off"), 11 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("d*ck"), 13 asses (3 used with "hole"), 6 damns, 3 hells, 1 crap, 5 uses of "G-damn," 4 of "Jesus," 3 each of "Oh God" and "Oh my God," 2 of "God" and 1 use of "Oh Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • When Terry tells the girls that their father is a "small man" (meaning for allegedly running off with his secretary), one of the girls jokingly replies that she hopes that isn't an allusion for his genitals as "that would be gross."
  • We see Terry in the shower (a head and shoulders shot) and when she steps out of it, Denny is sitting there holding drinks for both of them. He sees her bare butt (we don't, but do see her holding a towel around her front).
  • Andy shows a little cleavage.
  • Terry makes a comment about her absent husband: "Now that he's off screwing his assistant."
  • Tired of Denny coming on to her, Terry matter-of-factly asks him, "Are you looking to get laid?" She then mentions him referring to it as a notch in his belt and getting lucky. She then asks if he wants to get her in bed and states, "You wanna have sex with me, is that it?" He's surprised by this and says no, but then changes that to yes, adding, "If that's what you're offering." Terry then tells him she's coming over to his place for that and for him to have a drink or a couple so as not to remember what's going to occur. When she gets to his place, however, he's nowhere to be found (he's hiding in the yard from her). There's then talk of a rain check, but she tells him that her offer was like Halley's Comet (although she gets the number of years wrong in her analogy).
  • Shep, who's obviously attracted to Andy despite being much older than her, tries to impress her around the radio station (since he wants to get her in bed).
  • Denny and Terry talk on the phone, with a comment being made that maybe it's been 57 years (the incorrect amount for the earlier Hailey's Comet analogy). We then see Terry comically prepping for Denny's arrival for sex. They end up meeting out in the middle of a road intersection, where they argue and she sarcastically asks, "And now you want to f*ck me?" He replies, "Well, you offered it." We then see them in bed, with Denny on top of her under the sheet as they're finishing having sex (with some heavy breathing and exhaling, etc. but no movement or nudity).
  • Hadley tells her family (at her graduation) that there's something they need to know. One of her younger sisters then jokingly guesses that Hadley is pregnant and getting married (she's right), and Terry is upset that this is the way she's learning about it.
  • Outside and looking over some property, Terry says, "I want to do it" (sell her land). Denny is surprised (thinking she's referring to sex) and replies, "Out here?"
  • Terry walks in on Andy and Shep in bed together (nothing happening) and then walks out. He's then partially on top of her and she says "Hello" (presumably referring to his unseen erection) and then tells him, "Not now."
  • Popeye tries to kiss Gordon, but he stops her and says that he's gay. She then asks if he's ever had gay sex or sex with a woman. When he says no, she says he can't be gay until he's tried it with a woman. She then tells him to have sex with her, to just try it, and if he doesn't like it, he can then be gay.
  • Terry shows a little cleavage.
  • Hadley's is concerned because she's showing (her pregnancy) at her wedding. She also shows some cleavage in her wedding dress, while Andy shows some in her dress.
  • After she confronts him about dating Andy, Shep responds to Terry, "Who should I sleep with, Terry? You?" He then adds that younger women are more grateful than older ones.
  • Terry and Denny wake up in bed together, but nothing is seen or occurs (although previous sex is suggested).
  • Hadley announces that she's pregnant again (she's now married).
  • Andy breaks up with Shep, with him asking, "You don't want to sleep together anymore?" He then asks, "Is it because I'm quick?" When she tries to reassure him, he guesses that their sex was otherwise okay. She then replies by asking about lots of noises and strange sounds "for just okay?" adding that she was faking it.
  • Andy shows some cleavage.
  • Terry runs into Shep in a store and he comes on to her. She then sarcastically asks him, "So you want to come over and sleep with me?" After some discussion that doesn't go well for him, she says, "You were doing better when you just wanted to screw me." He replies, "I never wanted to screw you."
  • Denny later confronts Shep about the above, saying, "You wanted to screw her." Shep says he didn't but adds (about Andy), "I knocked off a great piece of ass."
  • We see a head and shoulders shot of Terry in the shower. When she comes out with a towel around her, we see her bare back, but Denny, who's sitting there (like before), sees more and says, "You have quite an ass." He then says that he didn't come over just to see her naked, joking that he's been there and done that.
  • We see Denny and Terry snuggling in bed, but it's for emotional comfort and not sexual in nature.
  • SMOKING
  • Terry smokes several times, Denny smokes at least once and Hadley appears to be smoking in one scene.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Terry, her girls and Denny attend a funeral (we later learn who it's for, see below, but note that it's a spoiler).
  • Terry's girls talk of their father running off with his secretary and all are mad at him, and that's especially true for Terry.
  • There's tension between Terry and Hadley about college.
  • Andy asks if Terry is okay and the latter says she's a wreck. Andy then says she hates him (her father) too.
  • Terry states that she has one daughter who hates her and two or three others who are leaning that way.
  • Gordon tells Popeye that he's from a broken home as well.
  • There's tension between Terry and Emily regarding the latter's desire to be a professional dancer.
  • Hadley tells her family (at her graduation) that there's something they need to know. One of her younger sisters then jokingly guesses that Hadley is pregnant and getting married (she's right), and Terry is upset that this is the way she's learning about it.
  • There's more strife between Terry and Emily over the latter's life choices, with Emily telling her mom, "I wish you would take me seriously." When she gets really mad at her, she then says, "Do you have any idea what a f*cking idiot you sound like sometimes?"
  • Hadley gets mad at her mom when Terry says that Hadley's face is "plump" at her wedding (she meant it as a compliment).
  • Terry gets a call that Emily is in the hospital and she rushes off to see her, worrying about her.
  • Spoiler Alert: A woman views her husband's remains (several years old, but we don't see them) in an old, previously hidden well (and she looks disturbed/distraught). Later, that woman and her daughters are at the resultant funeral.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Dealing with anger.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Terry states that she has one daughter who hates her and two or three others who are leaning that way.
  • Family strife.
  • Making important decisions in one's life.
  • Pursuing one's dreams.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Terry goes on a rampage, throwing out her husband's photos and clothes.
  • We see brief glimpses of violent footage (some just split-second flashes) that Popeye is assembling into some sort of video/computer project. We see rioting, a body being dumped into a trench and tribesmen hitting a woman who then gets a stick, and hits and drives away her attackers.
  • Shep slurps his soup, irritating Terry while doing so. She gets so mad that she imagines his head suddenly exploding in a huge, bloody mess, with blood and goo all over her, Denny and the wall, and with Shep's severed nose then being in a soup bowl (played for laughs).
  • Terry confronts Shep about dating Andy (since her daughter is so much younger), and eventually slaps him twice, knocking him to the ground.
  • Tired of the way she's acting and treating him, Denny gets mad and kicks down the bathroom door with which she's locked him out (and Terry looks scared by his actions).
  • Gordon tries to do a bungee jump from a tree outside Popeye's bedroom, but ends up swinging on the elastic band and crashing through the window to the floor (he's okay after a moment of no movement).
  • Mad at Shep for coming on to Terry, Denny grabs him and the two briefly struggle.
  • We see more similar violent footage from Popeye's computer/video project (some of it comical, some not), including people slapping and hitting each other, a woman holding a gun on a man, and a nuclear bomb explosion and resultant blast across the ground. At the end of the film, we see more such split-second footage, including some from old films and cartoons.



  • Reviewed February 17, 2005 / Posted March 18, 2005

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