Silver Linings Playbook Reviews
This film, an ensemble piece about communal hope (individual hope, yes, too, but remarkably tied to communal hope in this) and incredibly ... family, and dysfunctional family no less, warts, farts, and all, just sparkles.
Okay, sure, the minorities felt tagged onto the whole, sort of a politically correct bow to the current public forum, but other than that ... a jewel.
This David O. Russell is one to watch.
I'd been avoiding this multiple Oscar nominee because I felt it would be a boring rom-com..However,. I gave into it the day when the other option was Pacific Rim (sounds even more boring, all the more after the jokes made on its plot). Again, I was pleasantly surprised by how wonderful the movie was. The craziness and the intimacy between the lead characters after ups and downs is dramatically funny. The humor is given more attention here than how realistic will it look. Just wish that they'd not made it so unrealistic when keeping it realistic would have been just as effective. Besides that, it's a fun popcorn movie and one ought to savor the madness. Bradley Cooper is amazing, but again it's Jennifer's charm stealing the show. Honestly, it was just a coincidence that I happened to watch this next to "The Hunger Games", and couldn't help but admire Katniss for giving yet another superior (not flawless, though) performance. Watch it and I personally guarantee* that you too will have a bit of fun, if not much.
* Having said what-not above, watch it at your own risk.
But then he meets The Girl, and the movie slowly morphs into a madcap romantic farce. Goofy parents get involved, the shrink becomes a drinking buddy, and all sense of seriousness vanishes. The scene in Cooper's living room stretches on endlessly as subplot after subplot play out, and drama and co 3 Stars comedy are mixed so you don't know how you're supposed to feel about any of it. Is this Rain Man or Abbott and Costello?
The old saw in movies used to be, Boy Gets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Gets Girl Back. Nowadays, it's Boy Gets Girl But Is Too Stupid to Realize It Until She Knocks Some Sense Into His Head. Of course, this rarely happens in real life. Silver Linings has The Girl for a while and then loses her, but neither the writers nor the director were able to get her back. 3 Stars 10-24-13
Pat is a man whose life is in ruins: he's lost his house, job, and wife, all because of how he reacted to his wife cheating on him. He's also got bi-polar disorder (among other issues), and, after an 8 month stay in a mental institution, he's released into the care of his parents where his attempts to rebuild his life are complicated by his parents's own issues, as well as the baggage that comes from Tiffany- a damaged woman who may be able to help Pat, but at the cost of him helping her with her own goals.
The film sounds kinda heavy, but it's really not. It does have depth and intelligence, but it finds a balance between the artsy indie and the often compromising mainstream. It's also fairly overrated, but I give it a lot of credit anyway since I am able to relate to some of the people and situations.
David O. Russell usually delivers the goods, so I'm happy I wasn't let down here. He directs a great cast, and Bradley Cooper really proves he's a true talent as Pat. Jennifer Lawrence steals the show in a deserved Oscar-winning performance as Tiffany, and I love how effortlessly she makes holding her own against the rest of the cast (especially De Niro) look. Speaking of which, this is probably Bob's best film in years. He's good, though purposefully not that likable as Pat's dad. Jacki Weaver is decent but underwhelming as Pat's mom, and I loved seeing Chris Tucker return to cinema in something not related to the Rush Hour series. Here's to hoping he continues to do more films like this.
All in all, this is some really good stuff. As I said, it's admittedly overrated, but it's hard to fault it for getting so much right.