Ticket Stub: What better place to spend a gloomy Saturday afternoon than the local movie house? Miss Kim and I made it through the rain and took in The Upside of Anger, a darkly comic take on the "wronged woman" weepie. Joan Allen burns up the screen (Oscar clips everywhere!) as irritable, narcissistic Terry, mother of four daughters (who never seem to fight with each other, only with her) whose husband disappears one day, leaving her staring into the bottom of a Grey Goose bottle. Kevin Costner totally returns to form as her drinking buddy and paramour, a goofy but bitter retired baseball hero -- he needs to stick with what works! The plot is a bit overburdened with sidelines that go nowhere, though they add quirkiness, and casting Kerri Felicity Russell as a high school senior flops. I should add that I thought this was the director's first movie, so I was willing to forgive the uneven spots. Turns out, his earlier movies probably shouldn't count anyway, but they do make it even more surprising that the guy could write such a fresh, estrogenic script, successfully handle such a strong cast, and even put himself in as the lecherous schlub (hmm, he played the alleged child abductor in Minority Report, too). The movie is pleasantly familiar, a little confused, has great dialogue and a bit of a twist ending -- a solid (B).

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