The Upside: A True Story of Friendship Beyond Labels (Director Neil Burger)

I wrote this article in Japanese and translated it into English using ChatGPT. I also used ChatGPT to create the English article title. I did my best to correct any translation mistakes, but please let me know if you find any errors. By the way, I did not use ChatGPT when writing the Japanese article. The entire article was written from scratch by me, Saikawa Goto.



Movies and books covered in this article

(Click This Image to Go Directly to the Amazon Prime Video Movie “The Upside”: Image from

I will write an article about this movie/book

What I want to convey in this article

I hope that relationships where we see each other as oneself become the “norm”.

Saikawa Goto

In any case, it is surprising that this movie is based on a “true story”.

Three takeaways from this article

  1. Many people unconsciously judge others by their “labels” or “titles.”
  2. The crampedness of the millionaire being seen only as a “millionaire”.
  3. The refreshing feeling of Del’s behavior that never thinks about like “what the other person wants me to do”.
Saikawa Goto

If I were in a similar situation, I would like to behave like Dell and I think I can.

Self-introduction article


Please refer to the self-introduction article above to learn about the person writing this article. Be sure to check out the Kindle book linked below as well.

Published Kindle books(Free on Kindle Unlimited)

“The genius Einstein: An easy-to-understand book about interesting science advances that is not too simple based on his life and discoveries: Theory of Relativity, Cosmology and Quantum Theory”

“Why is “lack of imagination” called “communication skills”?: Japanese-specific”negative” communication”

The quotes used in this article are based on notes taken at the movie theater from movies in Japanese and are not direct quotes from the foreign language original movies, even if they exist.

I Think Having a Relationship Where One Doesn’t Judge People by Their “Titles” is Great

I Don’t Like being Labeled

I am not the kind of person who, thankfully for myself, would be exaggerated labeled. I’m not a millionaire or a celebrity, and I’m not famous for any narrow worlds of such as sports or hobbies. Also, I’m not in a position where society tends to be labeled people like “LGBT,” “disabled,” or “single mother.”

So, I don’t strongly feel it in my daily life, but I hate being “seen as a stereotype” in any way. To put it extremely, I think I want to get rid of basic attributes like even “man,” “in my 30s,” and “unmarried.”


You have always been sensitive to being “seen” in that way, haven’t you?

Saikawa Goto

I still really hate people who try to relate to me through “titles,” “stereotypes,” or “images.”

It seems that there are people in the world who are happy to be seen as “rich” or “working for a famous company,” but I can’t understand it at all. A woman I know once said, “I’m not happy when people compliment my appearance. I’m happy when they compliment what I have, because it’s like they’re acknowledging my taste.” This would be a similar story.

In this movie, there is a character who is “a millionaire and a disabled person in a wheelchair,” and in one scene, his chaperone smashes various things in the room at his direction. The millionaire is fed up with being seen as a “millionaire” as well as being seen as a “disabled person” and that is why he acts that way.

For some people, being judged by their titles may be a pleasure, but there are also those who do not feel that way at all. And above all, the problem is that it’s not possible to imagine the reality that “there are people who don’t feel that way.”

That’s Why I’m Strongly Aware of Not Judging People by Labels

I hate being judged by labels myself, so I always try to be conscious of not doing it to others.

For example, there are men who compliment women by saying “You look young” or “You’re cute,” but to me, that act feels like a declaration that “I only see you as ‘young’ and ‘cute’ labels.” Some women may be happy about it, but in most cases, I feel that they are probably just pretending to be happy while saying terrible things behind their backs.

Saikawa Goto

Of course, it may depend on “who says it” and “how it’s said.”


The meaning can change significantly depending on whether it’s said by a superior or a junior colleague, for example.

Speaking for myself, I think people who dislike being judged by labels are quite sensitive to the gaze of others. Even words or actions without special intentions can sometimes be perceived as a label.

At the beginning of this movie, a millionere with a disability conducts an interview to find his personal assistant. He looks stern the whole time, it would be said that it is natural.

Because everyone who comes to the interview sees him as a “person with a disability.” Although the people who come to the interview probably “genuinely want to support people with disabilities,” the millionere cannot accept the idea that they are seeing him in that way.

I rather consciously try to say and do things that would be perceived as “strange” in the general sense. I do this in the hope that it will convey to the other person that I am not looking at you with a “label”. Especially the more I meet someone for the first time, the less likely they are to get the message that I’m not looking at them with a “label” if I don’t put it out there in a slightly exaggerated way.

You can feel it when you watch this movie. Can you believe that the rich man ultimately chose a former criminal as his assistant? He enjoyed the person’s arrogance, like who he had never been involved with before, and adopted him.

What’s even more surprising is that this story is based on a “true story”. At the end of the movie, the subtitle reads:

Philip and Dell’s friendship have continued to this day.

Of course, there must be some movie-style dramatization, so not everything would be true, but even knowing that the basic setting of this movie is based on a “true story” is so incredible that it leaves a strong impression.

Content Introduction

Philip Lacasse, a business magnate who amassed a vast fortune in just one generation, became completely paralyzed from the neck down due to an accident. Yvonne, his aide, is constantly recruiting caregivers, but they don’t last long because Philip fires them immediately if he doesn’t like them.

Dell Scott, a former criminal, came to an interview for a caregiver job that was being held repeatedly.

He didn’t actually want to be a caregiver. He was only ordered his probation officer to get a sign to prove that he was job hunting. Dell always just worked moderately and got the supervisor’s signature. Because he only needed to prove that he had the intention to work. He came to the interview for Philip’s caregiver position conducted in the name of a “cleaner wanted,” with the same idea that he just needed to get a sign.

However, there were so many applicants for the interview that Dell Scott, a former criminal, had to wait in line. As the time approached for him to pick up his child, he skipped his turn and asked the old man in a wheelchair (of course, it was Philip) to just sign the document. When he realized that Philip couldn’t move his body, he turned his attention to Yvonne (whom Dell mistakenly thought was his wife), but the serious Yvonne tried to kick him out.

However, Philip, who was attracted to Dell’s unprecedented audacity, decided to hire him. Dell protested that he didn’t really want to work and just wanted the signature, but Philip begged him to think about it overnight, and he backed down once.

When Dell came back home that night, his wife yelled at him to leave because he had been wandering around without doing any work. With no other choice, Dell ended up accepting the job as Philip’s caregiver.

Dell had never assisted a person with a disability before and he caused trouble, but Philip was excited about Dell’s completely different behavior from his previous caregivers.


It was a really enjoyable movie. I think anyone, regardless of their background, would find it entertaining and captivating, with depth that sets it apart from typical entertainment films.

I watched it in a movie theater and it was a comedy that had the audiences laughing throughout. The relationship between the three characters, Dell with his insensitive behavior, Yvonne the stiff one, and the amused Philip, was superb. Their strange dynamic that doesn’t seem to click, but ultimately works well together, is masterfully crafted. In particular, I find it’s so enjoyable when the story unfolds as “Dell and Yvonne just don’t click with each other, but Philip is having so much fun that Yvonne has no choice but to lose in the end”.


Anyway, it’s amazing that this is based on a “true story.”

Saikawa Goto

The fact that this is a movie about a “not-so-normal relationship” is what makes it interesting, but I hope that this becomes more “normal” in the future.

As I mentioned at the beginning, Philip really hates being seen as the “millionaire Philip.” The people around Philip are all thinking, “If I flatter him, something good might happen.” From Philip’s perspective, they’re all “meaningless people.” That’s why Philip is always fed up.

The best example of this is the birthday party scene. Without going into details, they offer hospitality that reveals the idea of “what a billionaire would enjoy” rather than “what would make Philip happy.” Although those around him have good intentions, Philip can only feel frustrated.

In contrast, Dell doesn’t consider “the other person’s feelings” in any way, shape, or form. Dell’s behavior is based on a simple principle: “doing what he thinks is right according to his own values,” even when it comes to Philip.

Philip and Dell have had completely different life experiences up until now, so Dell’s principles of behavior seem fresh and new to Philip. Because Dell has no preconceptions or labels, it’s impossible to predict what he’ll do next, and there are some things that were achieved precisely because of this. Choosing Dell was the right decision for Philip, and it was also a very good thing for Dell.

Of course, their relationship has not always been smooth sailing. Without going into specifics, an event causes their relationship to deteriorate. If you watch the movie, you’ll be able to understand both sides and their feelings, and it’s difficult to say who is at fault.

There are many ups and downs, but in the end, the story comes to a close in the form of “Dell’s actions can be considered correct,” and I felt it was a good thing.


It can be difficult to understand the acting of “labeling,” and many people may not be aware that they are “labeling” others. What may seem obvious to oneself can be perceived as a “label” by others, and it can be very challenging for some people to recognize this difference.

The story of Philip and Dell is one where their differences are incredibly vast, making it easy to see their “discrepancy.” It is an entertaining movie that can be enjoyed as light entertainment, but it also provides an opportunity for self-reflection on our own actions and perspectives, particularly when it comes to labeling others.

Published Kindle books(Free on Kindle Unlimited)

“The genius Einstein: An easy-to-understand book about interesting science advances that is not too simple based on his life and discoveries: Theory of Relativity, Cosmology and Quantum Theory”

“Why is “lack of imagination” called “communication skills”?: Japanese-specific”negative” communication”

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