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The Upside of Anger

4 out of 5 stars 212 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Upside of Anger (DVD) (WS)

A sharp-witted suburban wife, Terry Wolfmeyer (played by Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-nominee Joan Allen -- "The Bourne Ultimatum," "Pleasantville"), is left to raise her four headstrong daughters when her husband unexpectedly disappears. Things get even more hectic when she falls for her neighbor, Denny (Academy Award and Golden Globe-winner Kevin Costner -- "Tin Cup," "Dances with Wolves"), a once-great baseball star turned radio DJ. This leaves her daughters out on a limb as they are forced to juggle their mom's romantic dilemmas as well as their own.

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Special Features

Audio Commentary: Commentary #1 with Director Mike Binder, Joan Allen and moderated by filmaker Rod Lurie Deleted Scenes: Deleted scenes with commentary by Director Mike Binder (approx. 10 minutes) Documentary: approx. 30 minutesAudio Commentary: Commentary #1 with Director Mike Binder, Joan Allen and moderated by filmaker Rod Lurie Deleted Scenes: Deleted scenes with commentary by Director Mike Binder (approx. 10 minutes) Documentary: approx. 30 minutesAudio Commentary: Commentary #1 with Director Mike Binder, Joan Allen and moderated by filmaker Rod Lurie Deleted Scenes: Deleted scenes with commentary by Director Mike Binder (approx. 10 minutes) Documentary: approx. 30 minutesAudio Commentary: Commentary #1 with Director Mike Binder, Joan Allen and moderated by filmaker Rod Lurie Deleted Scenes: Deleted scenes with commentary by Director Mike Binder (approx. 10 minutes) Documentary: approx. 30 minutesAudio Commentary: Commentary #1 with Director Mike Binder, Joan Allen and moderated by filmaker Rod Lurie Deleted Scenes: Deleted scenes with commentary by Director Mike Binder (approx. 10 minutes) Documentary: approx. 30 minutesAudio Commentary: Commentary #1 with Director Mike Binder, Joan Allen and moderated by filmaker Rod Lurie Deleted Scenes: Deleted scenes with commentary by Director Mike Binder (approx. 10 minutes) Documentary: approx. 30 minutesAudio Commentary: Commentary #1 with Director Mike Binder, Joan Allen and moderated by filmaker Rod Lurie Deleted Scenes: Deleted scenes with commentary by Director Mike Binder (approx. 10 minutes) Documentary: approx. 30 minutes

Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Costner, Joan Allen, Erika Christensen, Keri Russell, Alicia Witt
  • Directors: Mike Binder
  • Writers: Mike Binder
  • Producers: Mark Damon, Jack Binder, Andy Grosch, Sammy Lee, Alex Gartner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 16, 2007
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JNP4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,844 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Upside of Anger" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Terry Wolfmeyer was, in her daughter's words, the "sweetest, nicest, woman that anyone who knew her ever knew". That is, until her husband ran off with his secretary leaving her with 4 cheeky daughters, a lovely suburban Detroit home, and a lot of self-pity. "Then things changed. And she changed. She got angry. Good and angry." Terry (Joan Allen) turns herself into an embittered lush and has an affair with an equally drunk neighbor Denny Davies (Kevin Costner). Denny's an affable, easy-going ex-pro baseball player who trades on his former glory to make a living. Terry is of the opposite temperament: controlling, intense, and self-important, so they make quite a pair. Preoccupied with her husband's rejection and using her victimhood to excuse all manner of outrageous behavior, Terry still finds time to be appalled by her eldest daughter Hadley's (Alicia Witt) marriage, her ballet dancer daughter Emily's (Keri Russell) choice of career, and other daughter Andy's (Erika Christensen) boyfriend. Only the youngest of the family, Popeye (Evan Rachel Wood), escapes her venom.

The key to enjoying "The Upside of Anger" is to understand that it is a black comedy. The film's fault is that that is not obvious. The humor in Terry's behavior is clear, but it's always played straight, which sometimes makes it difficult to know if we are watching a comedy or a tragedy. The film's tone is inscrutable. It has a sense of humor, but at the same time is consumed by Terry's anger. Terry seems to have everything in the world except a husband, whom she apparently didn't love anyway. Her life is remarkably unchanged by his abandonment. Yet she never ceases to feel sorry for herself, and she tries to keep such a tight reign on everyone around her that we feel she might crack.
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Format: DVD
When her husband's secretary goes back to Sweden and then her husband disappears, Terry Wolfmeyer (Joan Allen) puts two and two together. As far as Terry is concerned, her husband no longer exists and is dead to her and their four daughters. At the start of "The Upside of Anger" Terry is not so much angry as she is drunk. When next door neighbor and former baseball player Denny Davies (Kevin Costner) finds out about Terry's situation, both the news that her husband is gone and the fact that she is drinking all of the time, he walks into her house and into her life. Denny's reasons for doing so are not clear. He could just be looking for a new drinking partner, or he could be recognizing a person whose life has just crumbled beneath then. Then again, maybe he just wants sex. But when Terry decides she just wants sex, Denny flees, so we have to think there is more going on.

The relationship between Terry and Denny is the main plotline of "The Upside of Anger," but in addition to the missing husband and deciding what is up with this new man suddenly in her life, Terry has to deal with four daughters. Hadley (Alicia Witt) is about to graduate college and has a double-dose of news for her mother. Andy (Erika Christensen) does not want to go to college and just wants to work, which is also news for Terry. Emily (Keri Russell) is a dancer who wants to go to a small arts college, ideas that Terry disparages. Then there is "Popeye" (Evan Rachel Wood), real name Lavender, who is the narrator of the film in those few instances where we cannot be told a profound thought any other way. It is hard enough for Terry to deal with being an abandoned wife without her daughter's throwing an increasingly frustrating number of new monkey wrenches into her life as well.
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Format: DVD
I must admit that when I bought this film, I was expecting the storyline to follow the same, stale, husband-done-me-wrong plot. It was Joan Allen that eventually forced me to whip out the checkbook. And so, I was incredibly surprised to find this to be a movie of such depth.

First of all, as practically all reviewers have raved, Allen and Costner are phenomenal. It was mid-way through the film that I realized how superb the acting was, as they were actually making me fall in love with utterly unlikable characters. Joan Allen has long-since been the most underappreciated actress in Hollywood. It was hard for me to watch Julia Roberts walk away with her 2001 Oscar for the lackluster "Erin Brockovich," while Ms. Allen's amazingly convincing performance in "The Contender" went without even a nod. As for the coming award season, yes Charlize Theron was wonderful in "North Country," and I'm sure that Reese Witherspoon will be lovely in "Walk the Line" (or at least I think I'm sure), but come on people, Joan Allen's moment to shine is years past due. But Ms. Allen doesn't carry this film on her own. As stated earlier, Kevin Costner is amazing. I liked his performance in this film more than any of his previous roles. Yes, he has a heart for sweeping epics, and yes "Dances with Wolves" was a great film, but to see him so subdued, and really capturing the essence of this man he was portraying was truly enjoyable to watch. He has reinvented his career.

And finally, all of the whining about the plot redirecting its aim. I honestly don't understand all of the problems so many people seem to have with this. To me, it only made the film all the more enjoyable, proving that in that end, perhaps the only champion to anger is divine irony. Life, fairly often, will throw both at you.

This is a great film and highly recommended on my part.
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