This may sound like a back handed compliment, but what sets this movie apart is the fact that it is a somewhat standard rom-com, only it deals with mentally disturbed individuals. It also deals with the subject matter pretty seriously and respectfully.
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.