WHAT GOES UP (formerly titled Safety Glass) is a film about a morally challenged New York reporter, Campbell Babbitt (Steve Coogan), who learns life lessons from a group of dysfunctional students (Hilary Duff, Josh Peck, Olivia Thirlby) while covering the hometown hoopla surrounding the first teacher in space. Set in the 1980s, this is a poignant look at how heroes are made in a world devoid of heroes.
Upon arriving in the small New Hampshire town, Babbitt decides to call an old college friend, only to discover an apparent suicide. Babbitt gravitates toward his friend's high-school students in hopes of finding an unsung hero story about a teacher who made a permanent impact on the social misfits of the school. Instead, he discovers the least likely teachers, a group of dysfunctional students, outcasts led by a narcissistic seductress (Hilary Duff), a repressed voyeur (Josh Peck), and a scheming pregnant teen (Olivia Thirlby). In a gradual reversal of roles, Babbitt soon finds himself learning from this unusual group of kids.