While the poster of Camila Mendes and Archie Renaux starrer Upgraded looks like a marriage of a cheap heterosexual knock-off of Red, White and Royal Blue (a by-product of both being Prime films, I suppose) and The Proposal, the movie manages to be watchable. The leads have the chemistry, and the story is predictable, corny, and 100% unoriginal, but it’s cute, you know? Personally, I’m quite tired of seeing the lead female character of a heterosexual romance make the dumbest life decisions while falling hard for a man who she believes will love her despite the deceit and then also accept her “normal” self. First of all, why can’t men lie about their jobs and lives to an atrociously gorgeous woman carrying a $4000 bag? Because they had a heart-to-heart connection with them, and so it doesn’t matter how poor or rich they are (you know, since men lie about everything anyway). Anyway, before I get carried away, here is the summary and ending of Upgraded.
Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
Young Ana is an intern at Erwins, an art gallery that auctions some of the world’s greatest art, or that’s what we’re made to believe. She’s doing a course there so that she can eventually open up her own gallery through a recommendation from the pompous and famous Claire Dupree, her inspiration (of course, she’s got a French touch). Ana lives in a one-room apartment in New York with her sister and her fiancé, who happens to hate Ana because he can’t have sexy time with her sister in front of her. Claire is your Miranda Priestly equivalent. You’ve either got to be perfect or stay out of her field of vision. During an important auction, Ana notices a mistake in the description of one of the paintings being auctioned and wins a bit of favor with Claire. Somehow, this “bare minimum” that Ana does grants her a ticket to London to be Claire’s third assistant for a week. As you can imagine, the first two assistants are the Emily Charltons of Erwins, so Ana is put on a flight four hours after theirs, and in measly old economy AND she’s called to the airport before their flight, so she can help with the bags. When the person checking the girls in overhears their conversation, she decides to upgrade Ana because of the torture she has to go through every day (how generous; I’d like an upgrade too, ma’am).
So this is when Ana meets the handsome Englishman Will. Will’s the dream guy with expensive clothes (that she spilled all her Bloody Mary on, yikes) and an English accent, which is always a plus (it’s the film talking, okay?). They get talking on the flight, and Ana ends up lying to him about basically everything except her name. She tells him she’s a director at Erwins and is off to London for work. They have a bit of a chat in their first-class seats and end up enjoying each other’s company. In the morning, Will’s mother shows up at the airport and immediately adores Ana. She’s offered a ride, and since she can’t even afford the cab ride to the hotel Claire’s staying at, she accepts. Suddenly, Will’s mom, Catherine, and Ana are best friends, and she’s being invited to the odd late-night soiree to celebrate Catherine’s birthday, which is next week. Somehow, Ana doesn’t feel the need to tell Will and his family the truth. In fact, when she learns that it’s Catherine’s husband’s collection of paintings that needs to be auctioned by Erwins, she deepens the lie while serenading Catherine with praise for her husband’s taste in romantic paintings. These are the paintings that brought her to London in the first place. Ana discreetly avoids becoming Catherine’s curator by pretending it would be really bad for her career if she stepped on Claire’s shoulders like that, especially since she shouldn’t be making personal connections with the clients.
On the other hand, she and Will are also getting closer. Catherine invites Ana to a gallery event, and Claire shows up there, too. To make matters worse, Ana is wearing Claire’s couture because it’s some fancy event, and she obviously wants to impress Will. Ana makes a run for it within seconds of Claire’s arrival, but she’s photographed with Catherine anyway. Will follows her out, and she makes the excuse of wanting to take a break for one night. They spend the night together, and when Will asks to be invited into Ana’s fancy hotel, she stops him with flirtatious jokes because it’s not actually her hotel. Now they’ve fallen hard for each other, and it’s going to be really difficult for Ana to tell Will the truth.
Why does Catherine cancel the plan?
Will tells Ana in a moment of vulnerability that he’s always felt used, and so he wants to escape London. He’s got the perfect opportunity with a job in New York, which is delightful. He tells Ana that she’s different from other rich people because she’s still “real” (whatever that means). On the other hand, even Claire sees that Ana’s working really hard and acknowledges it. But of course, when things are seemingly perfect, the walls come down around her ears. The picture of Catherine and Ana is posted on the web, with Ana mentioned as Erwin’s director. To add to the madness, Catherine chooses to back out of the auction at the same time for “sentimental” reasons. Claire is furious and immediately fires Ana from the job. With no other choice, Ana ends up spilling the truth to Catherine, who pretends to be shocked for a second. She then tells Ana that they were both “acting” and that Catherine was using Ana because it was a bargaining technique she learned somewhere cultural. Ana is equal parts confused and relieved, and Catherine promises her that it wasn’t her romantic thoughts about her husband’s paintings that made her cancel the auction. Will and Ana also have a massive fight where he tells Ana that he felt used by her because she was getting tickets and invitations for Claire through him and his connections.
How Does Ana get her dream job?
Ana gets a mini makeover from Catherine (she’s just got on some fancy large gold earrings), and then they head to Claire’s office to take them by storm. Catherine tells Arnold, the chairman of Erwin, that she wants Ana to head the auction, and the deal will be back on. Arnold has no choice but to agree, and Ana fires the guy who tried to steal Claire’s job. To everyone’s surprise, she also keeps Claire on the job still because she loves her work and Claire’s actually an inspiration to her. This part’s quite weird because, technically, Claire didn’t do anything wrong as Ana’s boss. Ana’s the one who impersonated her? Somehow, Claire forgives Ana and even tells her that she knew she had great potential from the start. The auction went fabulously, and Claire was made Erwin’s chairwoman. Before returning to New York, not on an upgrade but on a well-deserved first-class ticket, Ana tries to talk to Will, who’s already heard about her truth exposé and the works. But he tells Ana that he can’t be with her since she’s moving across the world and he didn’t take the job in New York. At least she’s got everything else under her belt.
Upgraded‘s ending takes place six months later, when it is revealed that Ana has opened her own gallery (girl moves quickly!). Things are exactly as she’d hoped for, but Will isn’t by her side. At her gallery opening, she’s sad that he didn’t show up even though he was invited, but since this is a romantic comedy, he shows up when everyone’s left. A happy ending, everybody. So even though Ana achieved most of what she did by pretending to be a totally different person, we’ve got to believe that it was her true self that got her to where she was (yeah, lie to the wall).