Life Upside Down parents guide

Life Upside Down Parent Guide

For a movie with lots of character development, this one is surprisingly dull.

Overall C-

Theaters: At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, two couples navigate lockdown, where they're forced to truly confront their relationships and themselves.

Release date January 27, 2023

Violence A-
Sexual Content C
Profanity D
Substance Use B-

Why is Life Upside Down rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated Life Upside Down Not Rated

Run Time: 88 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Jonathan Wigglesworth (Bob Odenkirk) is a celebrated artist, displaying his latest paintings and discreetly making out with his mistress, Clarissa Cranes (Radha Mitchell), in the back room of his gallery. She has, he says, “brought him back to life”. Then the Covid-19 pandemic sweeps across the world, the US goes into lockdown, and Jonathan and Clarissa are forced to take stock of their lives and choices.

As Jonathan and Clarissa are physically separated during lockdown, Paul Haselberg (Danny Huston) and his wife, Rita (Rosie Fellner) , are pushed into closer contact. Paul works on his newest book, argues with his publisher, and spouts quotes to his much less erudite wife, who goes jogging and experiments with new recipes – and a side relationship. When Paul glimpses her extra-curricular activities, he reassesses his own attitudes and behaviors.

Director Cecilia Miniucchi deserves credit for coming up with a film that gives all four main characters the opportunity to grow. For Jonathan, Clarissa, Paul, and Rita, the covid lockdown of March 2020 puts their lives under a microscope and they learn from the experience, weigh their priorities, and consider their futures. Normally, I would be raving about a movie that highlights character development in adults but, strangely, Life Upside Down is deadly dull.

I can’t even tell you why I found the film so boring. The actors are capable, although Danny Huston feels stiff at times. Perhaps their pretensions make them unrelatable? Or maybe the ennui of the time seeps off the screen? Whatever it is, I lasted 15 minutes before I started checking the time and I kept clicking my phone every ten minutes until the end. It could be that I’m just having a bad day and other viewers will be charmed by the characters in this film, but I’m not holding my breath.

If the threat of boredom doesn’t deter you, I can say that this unrated movie’s negative content comes in at a “soft R” rating. Adultery is a major plot point and people talk about sex a fair bit. There’s also a scene of marital sex without nudity. The three sexual expletives push the movie into Restricted territory but the overall swear count is fairly low. As adult romantic dramas go, there’s not an excessive amount of negative material – but there isn’t a whole lot going for it either. Maybe in twenty years Life Upside Down will offer an interesting look at a distinctive historical moment but for now it just brings back bad memories without much entertainment value.

Directed by Cecilia Miniucchi. Starring Bob Odenkirk, Radha Mitchell, Danny Huston. Running time: 88 minutes. Theatrical release January 27, 2023. Updated

Watch the trailer for Life Upside Down

Life Upside Down
Rating & Content Info

Why is Life Upside Down rated Not Rated? Life Upside Down is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: A woman facetiously threatens to cut a man’s balls off.
Sexual Content: Talk of making love. Implied adultery off-screen. Man and woman talk about sex over their tablets as woman writhes across bed. Man removes wife’s top and leans his face on her chest and bra. A man asks his lover to show him her breasts. There are sounds but no visuals of a man and woman having sex. A man and woman are shown having sex without explicit nudity.
Profanity: There are over a dozen profanities in the script, including three sexual expletives and at least four scatological curses, six terms of deity and a few minor profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults drink alcohol with meals.

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It’s still early to assess covid-based films but so far the documentaries appear to be better than the fictional stories.

One of the first movies made about covid was actually filmed during the early stages of the pandemic. Love in Dangerous Times charts a relationship that begins online and slowly develops during lockdown. The denizens of a Parisian apartment building work out their domestic relationships and get better acquainted with their neighbors during lockdown in Stuck Together. A dysfunctional family gathers online to plan their mother’s funeral in Family Squares.

One of the best early documentaries on the pandemic is Convergence: Courage in a Crisis, which depicts how covid affected people in eight countries from the perspective of doctors, first responders, and regular citizens. The US government’s response to covid is examined in Totally Under Control which was filmed during the first six months of the outbreak. The US scientific establishment’s response to Covid-19 is only part of Fauci, a documentary that explores the decades-long career of Dr. Anthony Fauci.