Silver Linings Playbook

A new review from The Movie Snob.

Silver Linings Playbook  (B+).  Beneath all the stuff about mental illness, Silver Linings Playbook is a very conventional movie–much more conventional than I would have expected from director David O. Russell (The Fighter, I Heart Huckabees).  As the film opens, a guy in his mid-30s named Patrick (Bradley Cooper, Limitless) is getting released into his parents’ custody after spending eight months in a mental institution.  We quickly learn that he suffers from bipolar disorder, that he got locked up after nearly killing a man that he caught having sex with his wife Nikki, and that he is deeply obsessed with getting Nikki back (despite a restraining order that forbids him to contact her).  Soon after his release, Patrick meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone), a young widow who has plenty of mental-health issues of her own.  Tiffany says she’ll deliver a letter from Patrick to Nikki, but he has to pay her back by being her partner in a dance contest.  (Seriously?  A dance contest?)  There’s also a subplot involving Patrick’s somewhat OCD father (Robert De Niro, Stardust), who is risking his life savings doing some illegal bookmaking.  Anyhoo, the movie did not feel very honest to me, especially the part about mentally ill people being as put-together looking and attractive as Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.  But, in my humble opinion, romantic movies don’t have to be too honest if the romance works, and this one does.  Cooper is good, but I thought Lawrence was phenomenal, dominating every scene she was in as the vulnerable-but-kind-of-scary Tiffany.  In sum, I didn’t believe it, but I did enjoy it.

8 comments on “Silver Linings Playbook

  1. […] For these kids, high school really is tough.  And finally I’ll mention, with some misgivings, Silver Linings Playbook.  The more I think about it, the phonier it seems.  But Jennifer Lawrence’s performance is so […]

  2. […] nicely and held my attention throughout its almost 2 1/2 hour running time.  Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) is good like she always is, and I thought a couple of the new arena fighters, Finnick (Sam […]

  3. […] the much-anticipated new movie from director David O. Russell, whose films The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook I liked a lot.  He unites four of the main cast members from those movies for this fictionalized […]

  4. […] on.  Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Into Darkness) is his enemy-turned-ally Gamora.  Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) has many of the best lines as a roguish raccoon named Rocket who has somehow acquired the power of […]

  5. […] have a counterpart in real life that Sam sees from afar and becomes obsessed with. Robert de Niro (Silver Linings Playbook) has a surprising role as Harry Tuttle, a freelance air-conditioning repairman and perhaps […]

  6. […] O. Russell staring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro  has much the same feel as Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.  This movie is loosely based on the life of Joy Mangano, inventor of the […]

  7. […] thought processes on almost every page of the book.  And I’m dubious about stories like this and Silver Linings Playbook (the movie) that suggest that love may be able to overcome or break through mental disorders.  But […]

  8. […] give away, Jim doesn’t stay alone.  Another passenger, the lovely Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook) also wakes up.  How that comes to pass, and how she and Jim get along after she wakes up, are […]

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