Movie Review: Silver Linings Playbook (2014)

Title: Silver Linings Playbook
Release Date: 25 December 2012
Director: David O. Russell
Production Co: Weinstein Company,
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
Rating: ***

Not sure to make of this one.  The basic story is that Pat (Bradley Cooper) has spent some time in a mental institution after being diagnosed as bipolar  following a vicious attack on the man having a fling with his wife.  Pat moves in with his parents adopting a “silver linings” philosophy in hopes of getting himself in shape to win back his wife (and his failures to stick to his new ideal veer between the comic and terrifying).  Along the way he meets a young widow Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) and agrees to join her in a dance performance in exchange for Tiffany delivering a letter to his wife.  It doesn’t take much of a leap to realize that Pat and Tiffany will end up together by the end of the film (and along the way they spend a lot of time talking in the middle of streets without ever getting honked at).

I don’t think the depiction of mental illness in the film is very accurate and I’m sensitive to the problems that causes.  On the other hand, the acting in this movie is strong as Cooper, Lawrence, Jackie Weaver, Chris Tucker, and Anupam Kher all put in excellent performance and sell the interpersonal dynamics.  Even Robert Deniro who I don’t usually like because he always plays Robert Deniro puts in a convincing performance as a man obsessed with the Philadelphia Eagles with OCD and a gambling problem, but under that all really trying to make a connection with his son.  So I give this a mixed review, as the story is largely hard-to-believe, but the acting and the relationships are terrific.