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The Upside of Anger

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Costner, Keri Russell, Joan Allen, Alicia Witt, Evan Rachel Wood
  • Directors: Mike Binder
  • 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: July 26, 2005
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JNP4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,133 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Upside of Anger" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Eight deleted scenes
  • "Creating The Upside of Anger" featurette
  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

A touching yet humorous film about a woman who finds her and her daughters' lives changed by a former baseball star who steps into her life as her drinking buddy.

DVD 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 minutes
Theatrical Trailer

Customer Reviews

It wasn't a bad movie, but it just didn't capture me.
Joan Allen plays her very troubled character very well, and this is a perfect role for Costner.
J. McAndrew
The surprise ending does not surprise and, in fact, aborts the film's premise.
Vince Perrin

Most Helpful 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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 26, 2005
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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By David E. Levine on September 2, 2005
Format: DVD
I am a fan of Joan Allen and Kevin Costner. Their acting was great in this movie, however, the plot and and the material they had to work with was lacking. Terry Wolfmeyer (Joan Allen) has four daughters and when her husband disappears, evidentally running off with his young secretary, she becomes bitter, angry, and unbearably controlling of her daughters. Her husband's friend, Denny Davies (Kevin Costner) is a former baseball player and current radio personality. What just does not make sense is how Denny so easily works his way into Terry's life when Terry is so shattered by her husband's evident betrayal. It doesn't ring true. They start off as drinking buddies and quickly move into a romance. Denny makes some moves on Terry, such as sneaking into the bathroom while Terry is in the shower, which would never further a possible relationship. In real life, some of Denny's audatious behavior would lead to a restraining order against a character such as Denny. In the script, such behavior (albeit well acted by Costner) is not believable.

To make this movie even more incomprehensible, Terry, her daughters, Denny and everyone else involved have misconceptions about Terry's husband. We have no clue as to how these misconceptions arose. It just isn't explained in any way. Each of Terry's four daughters is involved in her own subplot, giving Terry the opportunity to try to manipulate each one's life. Allen does a great job in playing the role of this angry, maniplative mother but, these subplots don't congeal due to a mediocre screen play. The writer & director, Mike Binder has a supporting role as Denny's low life producer and he does a fine acting job but his screen play and direction are lacking. Despite very good acting jobs, this movie receives only a lukewarm 3 star recommendation.
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