Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star as a couple of people with mental issues who meet and cautiously get to know each other. She’s an amateur dancer who plays on his obsession with his ex-wife in order to wrangle him into dancing with her in a local competition. Along the way, there’s romance, comedy, insanity, dancing, degenerate gambling, drunkenness, neighborhood disturbances, cops, fist fights…

A good time is guaranteed for all.

Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) has just been released from a court mandated stint in a mental health facility. He was held after a violent incident, but now his time is up… he’s free to go.

His main concern upon returning home is reuniting with his wife (whom he’s now separated from) and demonstrating how much he’s changed through all he learned in the hospital. It’s not going to be easy of course, seeing as she’s moved on and has a restraining order against him. His father (Robert De Niro) is concerned for his health, but, as a bookie and an enormous football fan, he’s also excited for the good karma that his return home will bring to the Eagles…

Pat is introduced to Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a young woman with psychiatric issues of her own. Her husband recently died, and she… didn’t handle it well. Now the two of them find themselves in positions where they don’t know many people and are basically starting their lives over, in a sense.

When Pat requests that Tiffany get a note through to his ex, she agrees… if he’ll be her dance partner in a competition she’s always wanted to take part in. He’s so obsessed with his ex that he agrees, in spite of knowing nothing about dancing. So, the two of them begin to train, while the issues they each have continue to swirl about them.

“Silver Linings Playbook” was one of the most buzzed about movies of this year, and once I finally was able to see it, I can see why. It’s a wonderful blend of comedy, romance and drama, featuring damaged, vulnerable characters that the audience will connect with easily. The two leads, Cooper and Lawrence, are exceptional as the two socially challenged people who try to learn to relate to each other. They’re both abrasive and curt with each other and with the other people in their lives, but to very endearing results. You honestly root for the two of them to figure out how to deal, which adds a welcome new dimension to the typical romance, where you’re only rooting for the people to get together. De Niro, for the first time in recent recollection, is given a decent role in support. He makes the most of it as the father who’s a little touched himself, and only wants the best for his son, even though he doesn’t know how to help.

Together, the cast will win you over and get you squarely behind these characters. Then, as you’ve hitched your wagon to them, they’ll take you through a comedic, romantic, dramatic struggle to find… not even each other, as much as themselves, and then maybe each other too. It’s a movie that’s full of laughs, and is genuinely touching at times.

It’s well deserving of all the buzz it’s received, and I’m certain it will be in the mix come awards time.

A+

Daniel Fogarty

39 thoughts on “Silver Linings Playbook

  1. Good review Fogs. It’s one of the best rom-coms since 500 Days and probably features the most lovable screen-couple of the year. Cooper and Lawrence are brilliant, but so is everybody else and I wouldn’t be surprised if De Niro gets a nomination for his work here because it finally has us all reminded as of why this guy is still an acting legend.

  2. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are both terrific. Robert DeNiro shows he is still an actor and not just a cartoon. The whole first hour is pretty horrifying if you have ever loved an addict or a mentally ill person. One of the best of the year.

    • Heh. Now THIS I can approve of! LOL… some of your “Dragging the Husband to this” movies really made me feel sorry for him! :D LOL

      Everyone comes home a winner from this one though. Very funny, very enjoyable.

  3. Glad you liked this one as much as me! That acting man, woah… lol. I love the zany energy Russell gives the film. The cinematography by Masanobu Takayanagi goes along way to that fact. Great film.

    • Both he and Lawrence were excellent in their roles. I can see nominations in both of their futures… (even though He at least stands 0% chance THIS year, LOL)

      I didnt pick up on anything special in the cinematography/directing, etc… but the performances and script were both top notch!

      Glad you have my back here, Blain!

  4. Didn’t like it as much as you did but I did think the romance was sweet. One little humorous bit that some people won’t catch is when Pat and Tiffany are arguing in front of the theater on Halloween. The movie being shown is Clive Barker’s “Midnight Meat Train” (an excellent horror film). The star of that film is Mr. Bradley Cooper. Hope you have an excellent 2013 at the movies.

  5. Hi Fogs!

    Without a doubt this is Cooper’s best all-around performance, and as good as he was I thought Lawrence was better. It was nice to see Bobby D finally do more than cash a check. It was even nicer seeing him portray an Eagles fan very much like some Eagles’ fans I’ve known over the years.

    As much I like the film though, I didn’t feel like it was something worthy of a Best Picture nomination. For me, it felt like a romance film with a dramatic element. By no means would I argue against it being one of the 10 best films, but it’d probably be my #10 or close to it.

    Happy New Year Fogs!!!

    • Hey… Joey G. ‘Sup, man? Happy New Years.

      It WAS nice to see De Niro doing some good for a change wasn’t it? He actually had a decent role here, it was nice to see him “back in the game”.

      And without a doubt this is Cooper’s best. LOL. Noooo doubt about it.

      I still havent settled on my top ten. Its a really tough year. Very very very crowded field. This stands a legit shot though, there’s no doubt. And I think some of these folks’ names will get bandied about at awards time, for sure. :D

  6. Glad you finally saw this one Fogs. It’s one of the highlights at TCFF for me and ended up being one of my top 10 faves of the year. Totally agree with what you said about De Niro, and both Cooper & Lawrence definitely carried this movie effortlessly.

    • Ok. Cool. I’m working out my top ten still, myself, and this is one of the ones I’m struggling to fit in or not…

      Definitely love it though. One way or the other, I think very highly of it. This was a great flick. Funny and touching both, you know? :D

  7. I still need to see this one. I’m not overly keen on David O. Russell’s work except for The Fighter, but have heard great things about this. It’s good to hear De Niro gives a strong performance. Nice review.

  8. I finally watched this and Perks of Being a Wallflower–loved them both!! I am now seriously behind on reviews… :D

    Cooper and Lawrence have magical chemistry–and the cast is perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. So refreshing when you have a new approach to a tired formula–this is how rom-coms should be told. Brilliant!

    Happy New Year! 2

    • “I am now seriously behind on reviews…” :D Gotta keep up with ‘em as you go! Otherwise… LOL :o

      Happy New Year to you too Nedi. I totally agree with you here on this one. The chemistry between the two of them is pretty remarkable, and it DID feel like a “fresh approach” didn’t it?

      I really really liked it a lot. :D

  9. For some reason I didn’t get the email for this one :( Don’t know why that happened…
    Anyway I loved this movie and I’m glad you got a chance to see it! I loved Cooper in Lawrence in this, as well as De Niro and Jacki Weaver as the parents. This is how you do a rom com people! I can’t wait to see this again.

    • Sorry bout that… I dont know what happened either. Maybe that would explain why it never took off yesterday, LOL. I wonder if anyone got them! :D Anyhow… YUP! Loved it, it was great. A lot of fun, very sweet, great great acting, and there was some great comedy mixed in. A solid, solid flick. Glad you liked it too!

  10. Solid movie although I don’t think it’s Best Picture worthy or anything. Pretty impressed with what Bradley Cooper did in this movie and overall, it’s quite charming although a bit too schmaltzy and “rom-com perfect” at the end ;)

    • Wellllll… in its defense Cap, at least it fends off the Rom Com Schmaltz until the end, right? LOL :D

      Yeah, I dont see it winning Best Picture either, but I could envision it getting nominated easily enough. I bet the two leads are in the mix. Maybe, I dunno. Maybe its not stuffy enough for the academy. :D

  11. Pingback: Silver Linings Playbook Review: Excelsior! | Rorschach Reviews

  12. Wow, what a surprise. Buzzworthy movie for sure. I enjoyed Cooper and Lawrence chemistry and excellent support cast including Bobby D who showed why he is DiNero; he really added a lot to the role and film.

    Not sure about having diagnosed mental illness as a character feature, but the script treats it well enough though in reality bi-polar disease is no trifle that goes away completely (my only hangup I promise). Tucker’s character is fun though. Enjoyed the stadium scene as I like the lawyers’ rejection and then acceptance of the bus fans plus the action at the end of the scene where I wasn’t sure if I wanted Cooper’s character to become an action superhero or walk the line of restraint.
    Lawrence’s character after the stadium incident was great.

    For some reason, I wondered what parts of the film people will identify as each seemingly normal character is shown to have flaws making the two behavior-inept or crazy characters actually relatively sane in comparison by movie’s end.

    Glad I caught up to this one.
    Strong cast, great film. Solid review. ;-)

    • It definitely was buzzworthy, there’s no doubt.

      I dont know that they ever said Pats condition ever went away, it just seemed as if he was able to find things in life to be happy about, and then I presume he was still seeking treatment, taking meds… But you know Hollywood, they dont care. LOL. They just want a happy ending, you’re probably right, ball room dancing cured him. ;)

      Lawrence was great here, there’s no doubt. I think she’s becoming something of a front runner for the Oscars, she seems to be winning a lot of the precursors….

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