Silver Linings Playbook Reviews
Not every movie about mental illness should be about the tragedy of disorder. A Beautiful Mind had a good story arc, but was overly focused on the despair. Silver Linings Playbook had a little more balance between exuberance and pain.
There's very little beneath the surface in "Silver Lining's Playbook." Almost every emotion is said out loud, and the depiction of the mental illnesses some of the characters face was entirely dependent on whether or not the plot needed something to move it along. It's almost as if no such issues existed once the characters were supposed to be likeable again. And even at peak "crazy" it just felt like watching actors try to out-act each other.
After those first thirty minutes, the story feels desperate. Almost like a school play where everyone forgot their lines. Plot points are pulled out of nowhere, and then they're stretched far farther than any ever should be. And because the characters seem like actors, there's no charm or relationship investment to keep the film afloat.
I think there's a good movie within "Silver Lining's Playbook." Maybe if forty minutes were shaved off the two hour runtime, so we could be left wanting more instead of wishing things would speed up or at least reassemble themselves. However, I don't know how the depiction of mental illness could be fixed. Perhaps if the screenplay was more specific than to just give us characters who are loud and irrational when the plot depends on it.
Would give 5 stars if not for the somewhat Hollywood Happy Ending that maybe didn't go with the tone of the rest of the movie.