Feature

What Goes Up

British comedian Steve Coogan plays a big-city journalist sent to New Hampshire in 1986 to do a story on Christa McAuliffe, but he finds a more interesting story when he meets the “emotionally troubled, overly hormonal” tee

Directed by Jonathan Glatzer
(R)

**

A jaded journalist finds his own story at a small-town high school.

What Goes Up is a “movie to be endured rather than enjoyed,” said Ethan Alter in The Hollywood Reporter. With its “awkward screenplay” and “amateurish direction,” Jonathan Glatzer’s feature debut turns into a “turgid mess.” British comedian Steve Coogan plays a big-city journalist sent to New Hampshire in 1986 to do a story on Christa McAuliffe, the real-life teacher set to ride the doomed Space Shuttle Challenger. Uninterested in the assignment, he hangs out instead with “emotionally troubled, overly hormonal” teenagers (Hilary Duff and Olivia Thirlby). Glatzer keeps shifting from “melodramatic pathos” to indolent satire, said Manohla Dargis in The New York Times, as if he’s not sure if he wants to make the next Election or American Pie. Still, “there’s some nice filmmaking tucked inside,” and Coogan’s “prickly presence” keeps you entertained. But Coogan and the rest of the respectable cast are worthy of better material, said Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. Self-consciously quirky and terribly unfocused, What Goes Up goes down as the cruddiest of “cruddy little indie” films.

Recommended

Russians shell civilian convoy in Ukraine, killing 20
The city of Izyum, Ukraine is seen on Oct. 1.
Speed Reads

Russians shell civilian convoy in Ukraine, killing 20

10 things you need to know today: October 1, 2022
A view of Fort Myers Beach, Florida following Hurricane Ian.
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: October 1, 2022

Brazil's election: A clash of presidents
Lula and Bolsonaro.
Briefing

Brazil's election: A clash of presidents

Russia announces illegal annexation of 4 Ukrainian territories
Vladimir Putin
overstepping boundaries

Russia announces illegal annexation of 4 Ukrainian territories

Most Popular

Are polls getting the midterms wrong?
Voting.
Opinion

Are polls getting the midterms wrong?

Trevor Noah announces exit from The Daily Show
Trevor Noah
The Daily Showdown

Trevor Noah announces exit from The Daily Show

Ginni Thomas meets with Jan. 6 panel, reiterates fraudulent election claims
Ginni Thomas
'minimal and mainstream activity'

Ginni Thomas meets with Jan. 6 panel, reiterates fraudulent election claims