The Upside (PG)*** – By Shirl Hollenberg

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Saintly!

Bad boys can be good. Perhaps. That’s the gist of the theme behind The Upside. Brought here by STX Films who pull off a remarkable film bolstered by exceptional performances. Take in this heartfelt bittersweet romantic comedy at The International Village Theatre and select Cineplex Cites around B.C.

Opposites can attract. Only here the opposites seem to be from other worlds. Picture a white rich guy with money to burn in need of help with day to day activities. This is what Phillip requires and Brian Cranston delivers the right demeanor to show this aging man’s health needs. To find the right candidate an executive secretary sets out to “vet” prospective applicants.

Into this privileged world stumbles Dell. Being from the wrong side of town and with little chance of landing the gig Kevin Hart gives it his all. Somehow, against all odds this ultra sophisticated urbane Uber rich gent selects Dell and an unbelievable journey begins. Kind of reminiscent as a cross between The Bucketlist and The Blind Side and for its themes.

What the Upside shows is that Kevin Hart surprised just about everyone as he skillfully develops this complex character who manages to navigate a world few would give him any hope of blending in with. Part drama part warm comedy and all soulful heart The Upside succeeds in sealing the deal of two lifestyles, colliding and both for the better of it.

Icing on the cake for this story adapted from the French hit is an effective nod from Nicole Kidman as an uppity girl Friday.