Navigation Bar - Text Links at Bottom of Page

THE UPSIDE OF ANGER

About The Production
For a film with such a richly-layered storyline, The Upside of Anger had a relatively simple beginning. A very personal movie for writer/director Mike Binder, the script was inspired in large part by his own experiences growing up as a child with divorced parents and his desire to explore the impact that anger and emotion can have on a family.

"When I was a kid, my parents separated and my mother went through a tough time for a lot of years,” says Binder. "I thought that would be a great way to get to this point that I wanted to write about. I conceived the whole screenplay as a parable of sorts on misplaced anger, about the things in life that people often spend so much time being angry and upset about, only to later find out what they thought was right was actually wrong, or vice versa.”

The topic is a marked departure from Binder's previous work, which includes more lighthearted looks at love and relationships in the comedy The Sex Monster and the HBO series "The Mind of the Married Man.” But with The Upside of Anger, Binder found it inspiring to explore new territory with his script and to approach his subject from a unique angle.

"When I first read the script, I thought it was fantastic – I can't remember a script I've read that was so original, truthful, and funny,” says producer Alex Gartner, a former president of production for MGM/United Artists. "Mike brought a fresh voice to the kind of movie we are not seeing enough of anymore, and the response we got from actors was better than on any project I can remember being involved with.”

"This is one of the best scripts that Mike has ever written, and I think it really elevates his work to a new level,” says producer Jack Binder. "The amazing thing is that the quality of his writing was so good that it really drove the film to get made. It made a group of talented actors eager to work on the film and is the type of material that will really attract an audience.”

Gartner adds that one of the script's greatest strengths was the way in which it does not cleanly fit into any predisposed genre category, instead blending elements of comedy, drama and family films.

Mike Binder's personal investment in the script was furthered by his additional roles as director and supporting actor. "Mike brings the whole package. He's a triple threat - a real actor's director who can also write the hell out of a script,” says Gartner.

Binder may have first-hand knowledge of what it's like to be an actor, but in order to pen a script that revolved largely around women, he turned to the women in his own life for inspiration.

"To me, women and men are not all that different,” says Binder. "Like everyone, I have a mother and I'm also married, I have women in my life and you just write about the people that you see day to day.” 

Binder decided to reflect the male perspective on the movie's themes through the character of Denny, a retired professional baseball player turned radio DJ played by Kevin Costner.

"I wanted Denny to have been in a real kind of guy's mode and guy's world until he meets this family and becomes inundated with these females,” says Binder. "And I wanted to really be able to watch how that affected him positively, negatively and emotionally – to see what the mix of being part of the Wolfmeyer family did to him.” 

The Upside of Anger not only addresses the impact of anger from both a male and female perspective, but also examines the impact that emotion has on the family as a whole.

"I think there are going to be a lot of women who will really relate to this because divorce is so common and families splitting up has become so common,” says Joan Allen. "But I think what Mike has really done is examined closely what happens. We all say it's not good for the family, but nobody really talks about the toll it ta

TOP

Home | Theaters | Video | TV

Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.
Contact CinemaReview.com

2014 16,  All Rights Reserved.

Google

Find:  HELP!

Google