Sometimes what tears us apart helps us put it back together
Running Time: 118 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: Germany, United Kingdom, United States
Terry Wolfmeyer (Joan Allen) is a woman in turmoil. Her four teenage daughters bubble under with varying degrees of resentment for her, shes well along the road to outright alcoholism, and her hubbys gone AWOL presumably with his nubile young Swedish secretary in tow. Lifes a bitch and, to be blunt, so is she.
Life, though as a wise man once said can be terribly tame if you dont play the game with two, and its not long before our embittered heroine finds someone who says he wants to play the game with you. Its Denny Davies (Kevin Costner), a retired baseball star who now hosts his own radio talk show and also happens to live just along the road. A fellow boozer, its not long before theyre hitting the bottle together and – as youve probably already guessed -much more besides.
The Upside of Anger reminds me a lot of 2003s Somethings Gotta Give, only this one has a more biting, cynical sense of humour and the writing from Mike Binder, who also directs and plays a substantially-sized supporting role is richer. Its never what you might call laugh-out-loud funny, but for the most part its sharply put-together and I cant fault any of the performers for their contributions (Costner must have been an instantly obvious choice to play the too-laid-back-for-words Denny, and theres nice work from the likes of Evan Rachel Wood and Erika Christensen as two of Terrys troubled teens).
On the downside (geddit?), its longer than it has any real need to be, particularly as Terry is such a tough lead character to put up with (her perpetual moaning leaves her dangerously close to becoming a subject of irritation rather than sympathy). I should also point out that the ending is absolutely ridiculous, and in this reviewers opinion goes at least some way to ruining everything thats gone before it. Still, I cant help but feel it will leave audiences divided and thats probably the upside.
It's Got: An out-of-place exploding head.
It Needs: Anger management.
Alternatives:Something's Gotta Give, Tin Cup
A booze-fuelled comedy-drama with its ups and downs.