Parents' Guide to

Life Upside Down

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

COVID-era romantic dramedy experiment falls flat; language.

Movie NR 2023 92 minutes
Life Upside Down Movie Poster: Bob Odenkirk leans dejectedly against a wall underneath a photo of Danny Huston and Radha Mitchell

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This COVID-era romantic dramedy experiment with a great cast quickly becomes as inert as lockdown was. It's not terribly funny or terribly emotional, and it winds up not doing or being much of anything. To start, it may be difficult for many viewers to identify with the movie's characters, "stuck" in their spacious homes while playing piano and doing yoga. The movie can't find their human center. They're really just privileged symbols, and their awkward interactions smack of a bad Woody Allen imitation. (To Paul, everything is just "stupid.") Moreover, the movie can't seem to capture the specific mood of what lockdown was actually like. These characters just seem bored. Attempts at humor -- such as Jonathan trying to get away from his wife for 10 minutes to call Clarissa -- are simply flat. And the decision to not show Jonathan's wife's face -- or give her a name -- is perplexing and distracting. Worst of all is the echoey soundtrack, as the movie tries to capture lockdown life on Zoom cameras and iPhones. None of it works, and Life Upside Down is a flatline.

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