Silver Linings Playbook

So much raving on and on about this movie and I understand why. It’s got 2 of the hottest stars in the business, it’s got one of the greatest actors of our time and it’s a little movie that allows them to do what they do best…which is act a little crazy. I don’t know if Bradley Cooper would have been my first choice as the main character for this movie but I CAN say he handles the work admirably. Is he Oscar worthy? Well…that’s an entirely different question and up for debate in a year that has Daniel Day-Lewis heating up the screen in “Lincoln.”

Pat (Cooper) has a bipolar disorder that had him locked up in a mental institute for awhile. Apparently he came home one day to find his wife in the shower with a co-worker so he went a little crazy and ended up in the looney bin. Add to it that his family isn’t in much better shape (his mother, played by Jacki Weaver, is the lone sane one of the family) and you have a recipe for disaster. Then along comes Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a foul-mouthed, never censored, sexy-in-a-wacky-sorta-way neighbor who takes a liking to Pat and hounds him into entering a dance contest with her. It’s in the insanity that this movie finds its sweet spot but, oddly enough, it’s not really that insane to begin with. Sure, dad (De Niro) has an obsessive-compulsive behavior problem, but overall, this family is a lot like so many other families. They have their issues but there is love in all that they do and that is where the heart of this film lies.

Everyone wants to be loved in this movie. Tiffany lost her husband in a car accident, Pat lost his wife to a strange man, Dad wants his kids to love him for who he is (which is a compulsive gambler) and so on & so forth. And so, it is with some poking and prodding, that we, the audience, finally find ourselves also falling in love with each of these characters, even with all of their mistakes and fallacies. I can’t say I think “Silver Linings Playbook” is the best movie of 2012 but what I CAN say about it is that I was definitely entertained and thoroughly enjoyed the job that director David Russell has done, taking a “cute, romantic Hollywood movie” and turning it on its head a little bit, making it a little more broken but still spinning it in a similar way. I really enjoyed all of the performances here and obviously it’s a critical darling so…go out and see it already, will ya?

Overall Rating: B


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