Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Silver Linings Playbook (5 Out of 5 Graves)

So much hype! And I guess I fell for it, as I gave this movie a 5.  So why do I feel a little off about that? We’ll get to that a little later.

The story starts with Pat (Bradley Cooper) being discharged from the mental hospital a hair too early into the care of his mother. We rapidly find out that Pat isn’t the only one in his family with behavior problem. He’s got a father (Robert De Niro) who is a rabid Philadelphia Eagles fan and a mother who appears to be classically co-dependent, but still quite sweet as she tries to hold the family together and help Pat recover.

I think the reason the movie does so well is that at the same time it is brutal and unforgiving with Pat’s and Tiffany’s mental disease, it is balanced by the quirky, odd love story, and by design or luck, it all works out – for the most part.

Things I loved…

  • Robert De Niro as the crazy out of work bookmaker. De Niro can easily overpower other actors, but he lets Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence shine, never pulling the spotlight off them.
  • Chris Tucker as Danny adds just the right amount of comic relief where it is needed. He plays a critical role in keeping the movie from getting too heavy at times.
  • Bradley Cooper plays crazy so well.  As horrible and cringe worthy as the cheating bathroom scene was, it was brutally honest. He plays the pathology of the spurned husband trying desperately to redeem himself when he really shouldn’t be so well it is scary.SLP_Bradley_Cooper_1
  •  What man wouldn’t want to beat someone to death if he found them in the shower with their wife? Get a divorce and f*ck whoever you want for god’s sake.SLP_Shower
  • Jennifer Lawrence. For me she made this movie. She is can play it serious, funny, sweet, and it is all believable, which I think speaks both to her acting ability, and who she is as a real person.SLP_Dance_1

Things I didn’t like…

  • The one thing I didn’t like about the movie was the way it portrayed mental health issues. I know it was a love story first, then a comedy, so I shouldn’t be worried about the way the mental disease was portrayed, but it did bother me. People don’t go from the level of behavioral problems that Pat had (or Tiffany) to something inside the boundaries of normal overnight. It sets an unrealistic expectation. People with real disease struggle to control it and live with it every day. There is no overnight fix.