Rated: R
Release Date: 02/09/2024
Production Company: Amazon Prime Video

Camila Mendes, Archie Renaux, Marisa Tomei and Lena Olin.

Director: Carlson Young. Producers: Bill Bindley, Lauren Cox, Mike Karz, Lena Rocklin and Piers Tempest. Executive Producers: Karl Hall, Rachel Matthews, Camila Mendes, Thomas Salentine and Matt Williams. Screenwriters: Christine Lenig, Luke Spencer Roberts and Justin Matthews. Cinematographer: Mike Stern.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Of course, you'll know exactly how the new romantic comedy, "Upgraded" will play out, but what may surprise you is just how genuinely fun and entertaining it turns out to be.

Directed by Carlson Young "The Blazing World"), the fluffy, flighty "Upgraded" stars Camila Mendes (TV's "Riverdale") as Ana, an art history major who dreams of owning her own art auction house. That doesn't seem to be in the cards anytime soon, because Ana is having a string of bad luck getting into the industry. It helps to be connected.

For now, Ana is staying with her sister Vivian (Aimee Carrero, "The Menu") and her husband Ronnie (TV's "The Underdoggs") at their cramped New York apartment. Vivian is OK with the arrangement, but Ronnie doesn't mince words. He tells Ana regularly that she needs to move out. If only she could.

Ana has a low paying job at a Manhattan art gallery that is run by her eccentric and fussy boss, Claire (A funny Marisa Tomei, "Spider-Man: No Way Home").

Claire dismisses Ana regularly and relies on her go to "girls," Renee (Fola Evans-Akingbola, TV's "The Night Agent") and Suzette (Rachel Matthews, "The Duel"). They will do anything to please Claire. Ana is a bit of a threat to them because she knows her stuff.
Consequently, Suzette and Renee are constantly bullying and harassing Ana.

As luck would have it, Ana prevents Claire from an embarrassing job mishap. Claire soon sees something in this youngster. She even insists Ana accompany her on an important business trip to London. Ana's not flying first class, but hey, it's a free trip and she's thinking this could be her big break.

When Ana gets her ticket upgraded to first class thanks to a nice agent, (Juliet Agnes, TV's "Dreaming Whilst Black"), things are indeed looking up. Seated across from Ana is a handsome, young and very rich guy named William (Archie Renaux, TV's "Shadow and Bone").

As they chat each other up over glasses of champagne, Ana gets lost in the moment and implies she's the head of big art gallery in New York. He's so impressed that Ana continues to roll with the lie. What Ana doesn't realize is how big a mess she's about to get into from pretending to be someone she's not.

The rest of "Upgraded" centers around Ana trying to keep from being exposed. Fortunately, William's mother Catherine (an excellent Lena Olin, TV's "Hunters"), who is a famous actress, really likes Ana. So does her close friend Julian (a funny Anthony Head, TV's "Ted Lasso").

When everything hits the fan and it appears all hope is lost for Ana and William, luck, love and money prevails in the end.

If you like your rom-coms sweet, charming, and with a touch of raunchiness, then "Upgraded" is just the ticket.

"Upgraded" debuts on Amazon Prime Video Feb. 9.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Look At This Trailer For "UPGRADED"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


<b> That Man Bolt</b> Title: That Man Bolt
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 103
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Henry Levin and David Lowell Rich
Director of Photography: Gerald Perry Finnerman
Screenwriter: Charles Johnson and Ranald MacDougall
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Updated Feature--2023

After Fred "The Hammer" Williamson carved out a stellar career as a defensive back in the National Football League with teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs (Williamson played in Super Bowl I), The Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers, Williamson tackled Hollywood and became an...
Which one of the following TV shows was re-made into a big screen movie and starred Fred "The Hammer" Williamson?
"Starsky & Hutch"
"Charlie's Angels"
"Hawaii Five-O"