Silver Linings Playbook Review

Michelle Douvris ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper star in “Silver Linings Playbook.” which hits theaters November 21. Photo courtesy of The Weinstein Company.
I have been excited for this movie for a long time. When I heard about a David O. Russell movie last year starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro I immediately went to Barnes and Noble to buy the Matthew Quick novel from which it was being adapted. Once I started reading, I could not put the book down and I instantly knew the film adaptation would be a huge hit. And sure enough, the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last month receiving rave reviews and taking home the coveted People’s Choice Award. And with all the Oscar buzz it’s been garnering, especially for rising star Jennifer Lawrence, this film is going to be one to watch.
The film chronicles the life of Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), a recently released mental patient and devoted Eagles fan. We catch glimpses of exactly what caused Pat’s mental breakdown, learning that it involved his wife Nikki and resulted in a restraining order. As soon as he gets home from treatment, Pat begins to turn his life around, going to therapy sessions with his therapist Cliff (Anupam Kher) and going on daily runs around the neighborhood to stay fit. Pat’s new philosophy involves looking for the silver linings of every situation, and he believes that controlling his recently diagnosed Bipolar Disorder and reinventing himself will lead his estranged wife back into his arms. Cooper really digs deep into Pat’s psyche and delivers a truly engaging performance; the character’s lack of a filter allows him to show off his comedic chops but Cooper’s serious side is also revealed through the desperation of his situation. Other strong performances include Robert De Niro as Pat’s superstitious Eagles fanatic father, and Jacki Weaver who portrays the loving matriarch of the household. The most brilliant performance of the film, however, is Jennifer Lawrence’s. Her turn as the unpredictable Tiffany is garnering major awards buzz, and many critics have the young star as a lock for the 2013 Best Actress Academy Award. Lawrence has natural comedic ability but also has a maturity well beyond her 22 years that makes her believable as a broken widow with unpredictable depth.
Most people probably have preconceived notions about films dealing with mental illness, but do not let the premise fool you. There are plenty of laughs. What makes this film such a strong awards contender, though, is the fact that it is quirky but not clichéd. The character-driven storyline draws you in and makes you root for Pat and Tiffany to recognize their feelings and finally be together, but this is not a typical romantic comedy. Pat is not Prince Charming. He has issues. He has a short temper and bad social skills. And Tiffany accepts this because she has so many problems of her own. The greatest thing about this movie is that it does not try to fix all these problems and tie up everything at the end with a big red ribbon. It is real, just like life. See this movie this Thanksgiving and I assure you that you will gain a new perspective like Pat does, and you just might be able to find a silver lining. Silver Linings Playbook hits theaters November 21.
Go See It: If you want a funny, heartwarming story with incredible performances. Plus, it is for everyone. Guys will dig the football and De Niro and girls will love the romantic chemistry between Cooper and Lawrence.
Don’t See It: If you are too busy. Seriously, I cannot think of another reason.

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One Comment

  1. I guess critics are blowing up Lawrence as she would be a balloon, it is almost looking as her face, the same with Portman, Whiterspoon in previous years…we are not retarded people and we know that after your intentions are money and interests linked with studios

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