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RENTAL UNIT: "The Upside of ANger"


Costner's Denny Davies is a retired pro athlete who hosts a purposefully incoherent radio talk show. Otherwise he can be found drinking beer and smoking pot. Now that his best friend has flown the coop, Denny wastes no time insinuating himself in the home of the confused, alcohol-abusing Terry Wolfmeyer (played by Allen), more ticked than distraught over her recent abandonment. That the husband in question left her with four beautiful, healthy children on the verge of adulthood and a palatial suburban home with a pool and an indoor ballet studio seems not to matter to anyone involved. Binder's film offers a curious view of the rich. Money may or may not buy them happiness, but it certainly buys them leisure time to gripe.

There are entertaining moments in this movie — believable ones, too. Costner is a suitably rough-around-the-edges scoundrel, and Allen, vying for her place in the tabloids' anorexia row, has the lean and hungry attitude of an unloved woman. There are also a few interesting minor threads to follow, including a gay character introduced as an obstacle to teen sex and a severe case of nepotism that blows up in everyone's face. But the reason it's all traipsed out before us is left to the imagination as the movie winds up incoherently, at the last moment revealing a thriller-style surprise ending that means nothing. The downside of this film is that it doesn't really know what it wants to say. — Wayne Melton

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