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The Upside: A Movie We Can All Learn From

I might be onto something: The UPSIDE is not only the name of my blog but the January 2019 movie release (see trailer at bottom of blog post) starring Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart, and Nicole Kidman.

The UPSIDE of The UPSIDE is that it’s Uplifting and it’s based on the true story of the friendship between a quadriplegic and his caretaker. That’s my favorite way to find something UP. Find it in being REAL. I laughed out loud but was always grounded in its positive message.

Philippe Pozzo di Borgo’s parasailing accident resulted in his becoming a quadriplegic. He dictated his bestselling memoir A Second Wind into a tape recorder at night because he was in too much pain to sleep. This memoir was made into three films: the French film: Intouchables the Indian film: Oopri, and now the American film: THE UPSIDE.

Wheelchair bound, French businessmen Philippe interviewed 90 people to be his caretaker. No one ever thought that the wealthy, privileged, second son of a French duke would choose an Algerian career criminal. Philippe didn’t care that Abdel was just out of jail. Philippe saw something in Abdel that he needed: his sweet craziness.

“He didn’t feel sorry for me – he was irreverent, cheeky and had an outrageous sense of humour. I suddenly found I was enjoying life again, feeling like I didn’t know what was coming next.”

The disabled man, and the ex-criminal, so different in race and class, were marginalized individuals who became a team. They depended on and enriched one another. Philippe claimed Abdel treated him the way he needed to be treated in tough times.

“Pity is the last thing you need. Pity is hopeless. Pity is what someone gives you because he is afraid to take care of you. I didn’t need that. But compassion I don’t need also. It comes from Latin and means ‘suffering with’. I don’t want you to be suffering with me. I need consolation, which in Latin means keeping me as a whole person, respecting me as I am.”

The American movie The Upside centers around the unique friendship of wealthy billionaire and quadriplegic, and Dell, a paroled ex-con and choosing to live and hanging on for the UPSIDE.

Philippe explains, “If you are in a deep pain period you might think you want to give up, but you have to be careful about allowing others to help this guy kill himself, because he might come out of the depression. I would be very sad if I had succeeded in killing myself 19 years ago, because I have enjoyed the 19 years that came after that.”

The UPSIDE celebrates living life to the fullest despite

your circumstances. I couldn’t explain it better than the review of a woman who has been a quadriplegic for 22 years.

There were 2 big movies that came out and the quadriplegic chose suicide at the end. Instead of being looked at like a regular person, we are looked at with pity. Yes our life is hard! It’s not easy being completely dependent on others for everything! I’ve been a quadriplegic for 22 years and I don’t have millions of dollars or a fully accessible house or a nice “patty wagon😁“ like Bryan‘s character had in the movie but I have faith and family and friends and I live a good life! I still got a bachelors degree and I still found love and I was able to be a mother! We have fun and choose to laugh ALOT despite our circumstances. I hope everybody has learned something from this movie!

What’s the UPSIDE takeaway? Treat each other as a whole person and with respect. Choose to live life to the fullest. Celebrate whatever you CAN do. Explore the opportunity for friendship. Expand your life by learning and growing from relationships with others.

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