Released on DVD, Luke Brookman reviews Silver Linings Playbook, starring Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence.
Silver Linings Playbook
The Low Down: After being released from a mental institution, Pat (Bradley Cooper) seeks to restore his broken marriage. Along the way he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a young woman who has recently become a widow. Their lives begin to have a profound effect on each other.
Review: Based on Matthew Quick’s novel-of-the-same-name, Silver Linings is David O. Russell’s risky follow up to The Fighter. The film portrays a world of mental illness, and it handles this issue with great maturity and courage. Never does it shy away from being brutal honest in it’s depiction of it’s mentally damaged characters. Russell finds the madness in everyone, cleverly creating a world in which mental illness is only a label, being the only thing separating Pat from his equally dysfunctional friends and family.
The humour here is pitch black. Pat, particularly, is utterly hilarious in his inability to hide what he’s thinking. The characters are extremely well developed allowing their quirkiness and eccentricities to shine on screen creating a hugely enjoyable film. Silver Linings Playbook is far from your average romantic comedy with it’s flawed characters and unrelenting bluntness a welcome relief from the clichéd world of Hollywood rom-coms
The Best: The performances are fantastic. Cooper is a joy to watch, and, considering Pat is not a very likeable person, that is quite an achievement. Jenifer Lawrence is quickly becoming Hollywood’s most impressive actress, displaying maturity beyond her years. Robert De Niro, too, impresses as Pat’s OCD afflicted father. It is a relief to see him back on good form.
The Worst: Pat and his family are American football fanatics. Their obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles may alienate European viewers.
Verdict: Silver Linings Playbook is a risky film that is utterly entertaining, thanks largely to great performances, particularly from Cooper and Lawrence, but also because of its honest portrayal of mental illness.
Celluloid Influences: Punch Drunk Love + The Fighter = Silver Linings Playbook