5.4/10
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24 user 28 critic

What Goes Up (2009)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 29 May 2009 (USA)
Trailer
1:34 | Trailer
Set in the mid-80's when a reporter is sent to cover the Challenger Space Shuttle launch only to become mixed up in the lives of some local students.

Director:

Jonathan Glatzer

Writers:

Jonathan Glatzer, Robert C. Lawson (as Robert Lawson)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Coogan ... Campbell Babbitt
Hilary Duff ... Lucy Diamond
Olivia Thirlby ... Tess Sullivan
Josh Peck ... Jim Lement
Molly Shannon ... Penelope Little
Molly Price ... Donna Arbetter
Max Hoffman ... Fenster Itski
Sarah Lind ... Peggy Popoladopolous
Laura Carswell ... Lute Lement (as Laura Konechny)
Ingrid Nilson ... Ann
Andrea Brooks ... Sue
Andrew Wheeler ... Principal Person
Gabrielle Rose ... Mrs. Bridigan
Colleen Rennison ... Sylvia
Aubrey Mozino ... Blythe
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Storyline

What makes a hero? January, 1986. Campbell Babbitt is a reporter for the New York World, writing a series on a woman who turned the grief of losing a son into civic acts. He falls in love with her, and when she commits suicide, he continues to write made-up stories about her. His editor sends him to New Hampshire to cover the Challenger flight from the town of teacher Christa McAuliffe. The launch is postponed for a few days, giving Campbell time to get to know a group of misfit students whose own teacher killed himself the day Campbell arrives in town. He pieces the story together that led to the suicide, finds himself attracted to a student, and has to sort out his own loss. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Different Class of Misfits

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, language and some drug use, all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film has been in production for many years. Originally Mandy Moore was cast as Lucy, Michelle Williams was cast as Tess and Peter Sarsgaard was cast as Campbell. Later, Steve Coogan was cast as Campbell and Amber Tamblyn was cast as Tess, Kelli Garner was cast as Peggy, Paul Dano was cast as Jim, Alison Pill was cast as Ann and the singer Nellie McKay was cast as Sue . In early 2008 all six dropped out and Amanda Seyfried was given the role of the character Peggy. She was then cast as Sophie in the film Mamma Mia! (2008) and dropped out of What Goes Up (2009) and was replaced by Sarah Lind. Hilary Duff and Olivia Thirlby were then cast in the roles of Lucy and Tess respectively. Josh Peck, Ingrid Nilson and Andrea Brooks were then cast in the roles of Jim, Ann and Sue respectively. See more »

Goofs

The Challenger disaster is shown happening on a Thursday. January 28, 1986 was a Tuesday. See more »

Quotes

Campbell Babbitt: Legends aren't born, they're written. And really that's what we all do, one way or another, when someone we love dies. And not just anyone, but someone extraordinary... Why not a hero? When they up and die, we're left with nothing. Nothing but the task to make them immortal. Only a magnificent epitaph will grant eternal life. And it's up to us, the ones left behind, to write it. However we see fit.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version released in theaters was 10 minutes shorter, had several scenes reordered and had a number of different music cues. This was the version preferred by the filmmakers. Sony Pictures was unable to release this version on DVD citing time constraints. See more »

Connections

References 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Any Other Day
Written by Hilary Duff, Jonathan Glatzer, and Robert Lawson
Performed by Hilary Duff
See more »

User Reviews

 
'We don't need another hero'
2 October 2010 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

'WHAT GOES UP must come down' and that seems to be one way of looking at this funky little film written by Robert Lawson and writer/director Jonathan Glatzer. Given Steve Coogan's comedic talents it is able to rise above an implausible script and come close to be entertaining.

The time frame is January 1986 and Campbell Babbitt (the last name is well chosen as a reference to Sinclair Lewis' novel 'Babbitt' - a satire of American culture, society, and behavior, it critiques the vacuity of middle-class American life and its pressure on individuals toward conformity) played by Steve Coogan is a reporter for New York World, writing a series about a woman who became a 'hero' by turning the anguish of seeing her son murdered in to acts of civil service (the woman whom Babbitt has grown to love commits suicide, and out of cherishing her memory he continues to write stories as though she were still alive - an act that Babbitt's editor Donna (Molly Price) finds ridiculous and sends Babbitt of to New Hampshire to cool off and to over the upcoming Space Shuttle Challenger).

Babbitt arrives in a little town in new Hampshire (the town is preparing to celebrate the Shutttle launch as Christa McAuliffe was raised there) to discover that his old friend Sam who was planning to become a priest but opted for teaching had a class of 'problem kids' who adored him. Babbitt discovers Sam's body in the street. The class of odd kids mourn Sam's passing: he was their hero. What Babbitt discovers is a group of kids each of whom is challenged with a problem and is trying to find ways to overcome those problems: Lucy Diamond - a reference to the Beatles song - (Hillary Duff) was in love with Sam; Tess Sulivan (Olivia Thirlby) claims she saw Lucy and Sam in an intimate moment, suggesting that Sam's act resulted in his jumping off his roof in suicide (Tess has private problems at home that lead to an unwanted pregnancy); Jim (Josh Peck) is the guardian of the coffin and funeral and 'burial' of Sam; Peggy (Sarah Lind) is a paraplegic who talks Fenster (Max Hoffman, son of Dustin Hoffman) into being her first sexual encounter; Ann (Ingrid Nilson) and her 'twin' Sue (Andrea Brooks) provide comic relief in their bizarre antics; Lute (Laura Carswell) is the dissatisfied choral assistant to the weirdo-choir director and pageant designer Penelope Little (Molly Shannon).

In the midst of this strange crew and situation Babbitt as a reporter tries to sort every thing out, falls for Lucy, and is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his woe begotten story in New York. His influence helps the kids sort out their priorities and leads Babbitt to find a way out of his own unwanted heroism. The story ends before we know the result of the Challenger explosion - and the creation of a real hero in Christa McAuliffe. But there really isn't a beginning or an end to a story in the ordinary sense of a film. WHAT GOES UP merely puts before the viewer the lives of some odd people and lets us watch how they cope. It has a bit of comedy, though dark, and a lot of tender moments that don't come into focus until movies end. For many this film will perplex: for others it will satisfy. It is an offbeat tale with a lot of innuendoes.

Grady Harp


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 May 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Safety Glass See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,240, 31 May 2009

Gross USA:

$2,050
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(cut) | (dvd)

Color:

Color
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