The Upside of Anger

SOMETIMES WHAT TEARS US APART HELPS PUT IT BACK TOGETHER. 

upsideofangerWhen Terry Ann Wolfmeyer’s (Joan Allen) husband leaves her and their four daughters, her comfort becomes alcohol and anger; a neighbor (Kevin Costner) also starts showing up at her house. Director Mike Binder wrote the lead character for Allen and she makes the most of it without turning herself, with all the juicy lines and colorful circumstances, into a caricature. Costner is also worth a look as a man who is both charming and annoying to her (fans will get a kick out of the fact that he plays an old baseball pro). Many similarities to Terms of Endearment (1983), but the film stands on its own, delivering funny and heartfelt moments.

2005-U.S. 118 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Jack Binder, Alex Gartner, Sammy Lee. Written and directed by Mike Binder. Cast: Joan Allen (Terry Ann Wolfmeyer), Kevin Costner (Denny Davies), Erika Christensen (Andy Wolfmeyer), Evan Rachel Wood, Keri Russell, Alicia Witt.

Trivia: The director plays Costner’s sleazy producer. Mandy Moore was allegedly considered for a part.

Last word: “[Joan Allen] liked the script, it was tailor-made for her, she knew it. You know, it was truly written for her to show all the colours she can show. Joan and I came at this from the point of view that we really liked this woman, she wasn’t a beast to us, she wasn’t a vile woman. She was a woman who is going through a very tough chapter in her life. The other thing is, I think it’s a revelation for audiences to see a character like that who isn’t just, you know, she’s drinking and she’s drunk, but she gets up everyday and puts herself together and the house is together. You know, she’s functioning. Which is the real truth to a lot of alcoholism, and a lot of pain, you know?” (Binder, ABC)

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