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07/02/19

THE UPSIDE (Movie Review)


Dell is on parole and needs a job, or it’s back to prison.

But finding work after doing time isn’t easy. Nor is mustering the motivation to care. And, really, motivation has never been Dell's strong suit anyway. Then again, if he wants to see his tween son, Anthony, he's going to have to figure out a way to pay child support to his ex, Latrice.

So in a somewhat half-hearted effort to be a better man and stay out of a cell, Dell wanders New York City saying whatever he needs to get a few signatures to show the judge he’s moving in a positive direction when it comes to finding a job.

A few fast food joints and a call center or two later, Dell only needs one more signature. Easy. But when he ends up on the top floor of a super-ritzy housing complex, he’s taken aback. Is this where he’s supposed to be? Is this the janitor job he thought he was looking for?

Never mind, he has no time to waste. He has to pick up his son from school. So, in typical Dell fashion, he barges into an ongoing interview to get what, he believes, is rightfully owed him. But he won’t be getting a signature so easily. Not this time.

That's because the interview process he interrupts is for an entirely different kind of job: taking care of an extraordinarily wealthy, quadriplegic man named Phillip.

Dell's obviously not qualified for that job. But Phillip sees something in Dell that's missing all the other, much more experienced, applicants—much to the horror of the man's uptight personal business manager, Yvonne. And so he offers Dell not just a signature, but a job.

It's not quite Dell’s cup of tea, of course. But his desire to be a better dad, and to make some money, motivates him to take a chance. And what begins as an obligatory, judicial step becomes a unlikely friendship that pushes both Dell and Phillip to see their lives from two very different points of view.

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