It’s a rule that every comedian with a slew of hit comedies under his or her belt eventually has to do a drama. But Kevin Hart is taking baby steps. His forthcoming serious film The Upside is a drama-comedy — that dreaded word “dramedy”).
There will be tears, but there will be laughs, too. And both will be had on its January 11 release date, Variety revealed.
That date is not an encouraging sign — or at least it suggests its distributor, STX Entertainment, doesn’t think of it as Oscar bait. The “January dumping grounds” are what they call it — the time after awards season, when studios release their un-snootiest fare, often just to get rid of the movie before it goes bad.
The Upside, though, is at least a little snooty. Hart’s co-star is the esteemed Bryan Cranston, and third billed is no less than Nicole Kidman. On top of that, it’s a remake of a French film, of all things — the second highest grossing French film of all time. It’s called The Intouchables, and it concerns a Senegalese immigrant (Omar Sy) in Paris who tends to a grouchy, bitter paraplegic (François Cluzet), eventually chilling him out and becoming his best friend. Back in 2011, it grossed nearly half a billion dollars, a tiny fraction of that coming from its limited American release.
But hey, they used to remake French comedies all the time in the ’80s, like Three Men and a Baby and Three Fugitives, so why not bring that trend back? Hart will take over for Sy, while Cranston will play the Cluzet role, and we’re going to assume Hart went and improvised most of his dialogue. Despite its non-awards-friendly release date, it will premiere this month at the lauded Toronto International Film Festival.