2005 – The Upside of Anger

by Alan Rapp on March 19, 2015

in Home Video

  • Title: The Upside of Anger
  • IMDb: link

The Upside of AngerReleased ten years ago, writer/director Mike Binder‘s The Upside of Anger is an underrated film built around a terrific performance by Joan Allen as the pissed-off matriarch of a family struggling to keep it together after her husband has disappeared (presumably to live with his secretary in Sweden). The woman’s life is further complicated by varying states of disrepair of her relationships with her three daughters (Erika Christensen, Keri Russell, Alicia Witt, and Evan Rachel Wood) and a burgeoning romantic relationship to a former Major League pitcher turned radio host (Kevin Costner) who, despite the woman’s rough edges, quickly falls for Terry and her family.

Along with Allen’s performance (arguably the best of her career as the unlikable but somehow still lovable Terry) the film gives each of the daughters strong roles dealing in their own ways with their mother’s constantly boiling disposition. Russell, Christensen, and Witt each bring something different to their roles as Evan Rachel Wood shines as the youngest sibling who is forced to grow up too quickly due to her father’s abscence and mother’s consequent behavior.

Much like Terry each is human, imperfect, and struggling with life’s unexpected lemons that they simply don’t know how to turn into lemonade. Despite their dysfunction, and the family certainly has more than their fair share, there is love buried under the hurt. There’s also quite a bit of humor that comes from the unusual situation including a comment during family dinner by the oldest daughter’s boyfriend that is so spot-on it earns him nothing but daggers from the eyes of every female member of the family in one of the film’s best scenes.

Available on both Blu-ray and DVD extras include deleted scenes, the film’s trailer, and a short behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of the movie.

[New Line Home Video, DVD $5.97]

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