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It’s a truly awful film, on par with ‘the room’
There is a wall in my house. The wall is a simple wall, eight feet tall, and fifteen feet wide, it sits in a corner in the basement. It has been painted beige, with a few coats to cover up the bumps and scratches from coats before. It’s got it’s idiosyncrasies, the way the light jumps off the paint, the not so even drywalling underneath. Stare at it long enough, and it begins to speak to you - or at least allow you to speak to it. Maybe there’s something to the wall - or maybe it’s just my romantic illusions of inspiration and contemplation that bring life to it. My point is this - staring at that blank wall for two hours is far more inspiring, interesting and enlightening than watching two minutes of the cinematic colonoscopy that is “Cats.” A film so awful, so ridiculous and so void of substance it’s very existence is an affront to musicals, film and theatre. Unless you’re a fan of ‘so bad it’s good’ cinema, stay away. This is a watershed moment in bad movie history.
Armed with Kendrick’s infectious charm, coupled with a brilliant supporting cast, (Hader, Maclaine and a hilariously unexpected Billy Eichner), this feel good, absolutely silly Christmas Comedy has more than enough laughs and wonder to keep up the good cheer throughout. With its hopeful, inclusive and charming ending, we might just have a future Christmas classic on our hands.
When a foreign film is remade for an American audience, that’s always a bad sign. “The Upside” is the exception. Mostly by not trying to be the French smash “Intouchables” on which it was based. Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, (as well as a stellar supporting role from Kidman), shine and have fantastic comedic and platonic chemistry. An absolutely, genuinely feel good film.