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The Upside of Anger in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Upside of Anger

Kevin Costner • Joan Allen • Keri Russell • Evan Rachel Wood • Erika Christensen • Alicia Witt
DIRECTOR: Mike Binder

Kevin Costner as Denny and Joan Allen as Terry THE CONCEPT:
When her husband unexpectedly disappears, it leaves Terry Wolfmeyer (Allen) struggling with her four headstrong daughters (Wood, Russell, Witt and Christensen). Regularly drowning her anger in alcohol, Terry develops an offbeat relationship with her next-door neighbor, Denny (Costner), a once-great baseball player who’s now a local DJ.

U.S. RELEASE: March 11 2005, Limited • Rated: R


“This was an American character and a very American movie, with very universal themes of men and women. I thought it was a very original voice and it humored me while challenging me. A lot of the humor comes from very challenging themes. The scenes are funny, but we don’t know if they are funny or if they are just a train wreck and we just watch in amazement. There is a lot of laughing out loud, and some laughing in disbelief.”

“Mike Binder wrote this for me, and so I’m glad I opened my mouth a few years before when we were doing The Contender, and said, ‘Would you keep me in mind any time you do a comedy?’ Society has a very hard time dealing with women’s anger. I think there’s a different standard for men and anger and women and anger. My character has been incredibly hurt and that’s where a lot of her anger comes from. And one way of protecting yourself is to get really pissed off.”

“Joan is incredible. I can’t say enough wonderful things about her, as a person and an actress. She was kind of our hero. I love that all of my scenes got to be the really antagonistic stuff with her. It’s so easy to work with her because she’s so good, and when you work with someone that good they instantly make you better.”

“Kevin didn’t get there until after we’d all been shooting for awhile, so it’s kind of the same journey as his character went through, which is he gets thrown into this mess of crazy women, which he had no problem with, trust me. We love Kevin and Kevin loves us, but it was good to have him come into an already going operation.”

“We could never get through a scene whenever Kevin was in the room, because he could just give you a blank look and you’ll fall on the floor laughing. He’s just got a way about him. He wasn’t strutting around the set or anything; he was laid back and nice. He was totally cool.”

“I didn’t base my character on a former baseball player, I based it on a Saint Bernard dog. He was a guy who went from backyard to backyard to see who was having a barbeque. He was a very likable and non-threatening guy. Mike is the one who separated him by avoiding clichés and caring about his past. He’s a guy who normally wouldn’t want a woman with all this baggage, and he should have run when he first saw her temper. Who would keep coming back except for a dog like that?”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © New Line Cinema
Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #655, April 2005 cover

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