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Upside of Anger

The Upside of Anger

4.4 7
Director: Mike Binder

Cast: Joan Allen, Kevin Costner, Erika Christensen

Two friends wonder if there might be more between them when their lives both take a left turn in this romantic comedy. Terry (Joan Allen) is a middle-aged housewife and mother of four teenaged daughters and gets the shock of her life when her husband, without a word of warning, leaves them behind, presumably to move to Sweden with his secretary. Going through a bender


Two friends wonder if there might be more between them when their lives both take a left turn in this romantic comedy. Terry (Joan Allen) is a middle-aged housewife and mother of four teenaged daughters and gets the shock of her life when her husband, without a word of warning, leaves them behind, presumably to move to Sweden with his secretary. Going through a bender of depression and alcohol, Terry finds herself commiserating with Denny (Kevin Costner), a former baseball star turned unenthusiastic radio personality who was her husband's colleague and friend and an occasional presence at the house. With both Terry and Denny feeling down in the dumps about recent events in their lives, the two find themselves drawn to one another, and while Terry fights the notion of a new romance, her daughters -- Andy (Erika Christensen), Hadley (Alicia Witt), Emily (Keri Russell), and Lavender (Evan Rachel Wood) -- each have different ideas about their futures. The Upside of Anger was written and directed by Mike Binder, who also plays a supporting role as the producer of Denny's radio show.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Generally well received by critics and almost universally praised for the quality of its acting, The Upside of Anger certainly merits a larger audience on DVD than it drew in theaters, where it was a box office disappointment. Certainly Joan Allen is Oscar-worthy for her brilliant, impassioned performance as Terry Wolfmeyer, a middle-aged housewife and mother stung by the abrupt departure of her husband, presumed to have run off with his much younger secretary. With three daughters (Erika Christensen, Keri Russell, Evan Rachel Wood) still at home and one (Alicia Witt) in college, Terry shrugs off her responsibilities and drowns her sorrows in booze. Bitter, lonely, and more than a little desperate, she eventually turns to her neighbor and drinking buddy, Denny Davies (Kevin Costner), a former star pitcher reduced to doing a talk show on local radio. Denny’s no slouch at shrugging off responsibility himself, but his affection for Terry and her daughters makes a new man of him. Costner has taken quite a beating from critics over the last few years, and he’s been in more than his fair share of turkeys. But Upside gives him a multidimensional character in which to sink his teeth, and he devours it with gusto. Costner’s performance has “comeback” written all over it and deserves as much praise as Allen’s. Much of the credit for this belongs to writer-director Mike Binder (HBO's The Mind of the Married Man), whose tart dialogue and handling of emotionally complex situations invariably rings true. Remarkably forthright about loss, betrayal, and new beginnings, Upside also approaches sexuality with a maturity not often seen in Hollywood movies. The characters in this movie will strike you as real people, and it’ll be a rare viewer who doesn’t spot at least one character that resembles someone he or she knows. At various points tragic, comic, sublime, and ridiculous, The Upside of Anger is very much like life itself.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Joan Allen harnesses her often cold screen presence to great effect in much of The Upside of Anger. Her alcoholic über-bitch is a force of nature that Allen keeps grounded in real emotions. She is well-matched by Kevin Costner as a low-key rogue full of both selfishness and self-disgust. Their scenes together have a combination of ease and discomfort that could have held together an entire movie. Sadly, director and writer Mike Binder blindsides the audience with a twist ending that undermines everything that came before. Keeping the fact that is revealed at the end from the audience allows Binder to be lazier than he should be with his characters. A better film about a middle-aged woman consumed by anger would figure out how to show that anger simmering below the surface and occasionally boiling over. Binder's facile ending allows him a shortcut that insults the audience's intelligence. With this very game cast, The Upside of Anger could have aimed to be a sardonic Scenes From a Marriage, but Binder is content to settle for something more along the lines of Inside the Mind of the Bitter Married Woman.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; 8 deleted scenes; "Creating the Upside of Anger Featurette"; Commentary with Joan Allen and director Mike Binder; And more!

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joan Allen Terry Wolfmeyer
Kevin Costner Denny Davies
Erika Christensen Andy Wolfmeyer
Evan Rachel Wood Lavender 'Popeye' Wolfmeyer
Keri Russell Emily Wolfmeyer
Alicia Witt Hadley Wolfmeyer
Mike Binder Adam 'Shep' Goodman
Dane Christensen Gordon,Gorden Reiner
Tom Harper David Jr.
Daniel Webb Grey Wolfmeyer
Magdalena Manville Darlene
Suzanne Bertish Gina
David Firth David Sr.
Roderick P. Woodruff Dean Reiner
Stephen Greif Emily's Doctor
Arthur Penhallow DJ Arhur P.
Richard Mylan Disc Jockey
Robert Perkins Town Car Man
William Tapley Doctor Lewis
Owen Oakshot Builder Foreman
Bella Sabbagh Radio Station Receptionist
Michelle Denholm English National Ballet School
Natalie Domanski English National Ballet School
Sophie Gorrod English National Ballet School
Carolyn Logan English National Ballet School
Alison McWhinney English National Ballet School
Natasha O'Brien English National Ballet School
Stina Quagebeur English National Ballet School
Olivia Ratcliffe English National Ballet School
Laura Suttle English National Ballet School
Nicola Wallis English National Ballet School
Miki Weatherford English National Ballet School
Nao Yamazato English National Ballet School
Gavin Munn The Gavin Munn Band/Wedding Band
Nicholas White The Gavin Munn Band/Wedding Band
Peter Hajioff The Gavin Munn Band/Wedding Band
Chris Banks The Gavin Munn Band/Wedding Band
Roger Batting The Gavin Munn Band/Wedding Band
Alexandre Desplat Conductor

Technical Credits
Mike Binder Director,Screenwriter
Sarita Allison Makeup
Jim Alloway Camera Operator,Cinematographer
Jack Binder Producer
Chris Curling Associate Producer
Mark Damon Executive Producer
Matthew Desorgher Sound/Sound Designer
Alexandre Desplat Score Composer
Melanie Dicks Asst. Director
Steve Edwards Editor
Alex Gartner Producer
Richard Greatrex Cinematographer
Andreas Grosch Executive Producer
Stewart Hall Executive Producer
Tom Harris Special Effects Supervisor
Dave Jordan Musical Direction/Supervision
Paul Kelley Special Effects Supervisor
Teresa Kelly Makeup
Sammy Lee Producer
Sian Richards Makeup
John Rodda Sound Mixer
Danielle Roffe Casting
Danielle Rohe Casting
Chris Roope Production Designer
Robin Sales Editor
Andreas Schmid Executive Producer
Deborah L. Scott Costumes/Costume Designer
Brian Simmons Sound/Sound Designer
Tim Stevenson Art Director
Gerry Vasbenter Camera Operator
Felicity Wright Makeup

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. The Funeral [2:14]
2. Bad News [4:58]
3. The Wolfmeyer Women [4:50]
4. Drinking Buddies [6:53]
5. "I'm a Wreck" [7:44]
6. The Offer [6:29]
7. Halley's Comet [9:54]
8. Shocking News [1:01]
9. Terry's Embarrassment [2:45]
10. Shep Joins the Party [6:32]
11. The Apology [5:44]
12. Hadley's Wedding [5:47]
13. More Bad News [10:08]
14. The Big Question [6:55]
15. A Moment of Bliss [6:07]
16. The Make-Up [6:14]
17. The Discovery [9:14]
18. End Credits [8:41]


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4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie keeps your interest at least. The acting is good. Kevin Costner actually does some acting too, something he seems to be getting better at these days. The twist in the end came out of the blue and I liked it. All in all, a fair way to pass an evening.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Costner makes a comeback and Joan Allen as always is absolutely amazing. A comedy by adults for adults. This summer's "Something's Gotta Give". In fact, a couple of times Costner even reminded me a bit of Nicholson. Don't miss this one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is so good it deserves to a new word to describe its brilliance. I was blown away by the chemestry of every single person in this movie. This movie had original laughs that found there way through out the entire film. The perfect mixture of romance, humor and drama kept my heart throbbing. A movie like this is great because it can keep you on your feet the entire movie, without the movie being a quick 1hour and 30 minutes. This movie is phenominal and does not sell short its five stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this film, it's brilliant, witty, remarkable, and a charming romantic dramedy. The A-list cast is absolutely stunning, especially Joan Allen. I think it may be the romantic comedy we've all been waiting for. I believe that they should give Joan Allen an Oscar nomination for her remarkable portrayal of a desperately bitter housewife.
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