Silver Linings Playbook (2012) Review
Mental disabilities can be a tricky business in films, especially one trying to meld comedy with drama. So it really is an accomplishment when I say this film pulls it off with both style and talent. The script is sharp and funny but also respects the concept and with a brilliant cast doing some of the best work I have seen from them it really excels in all areas. Luckily for the people out there like me the dancing was as minimal as it could have been and didn’t really impact the story until the end (Yes!). I hate rom-coms and I am surprised somewhat gobsmacked that this film is actually really good. The direction was stellar between the cast and David O. Russell with a family dynamic revolving around anger problems we get some fantastic scenes of a family trying to cope and the common problems anger can cause families whilst still being funny and touching at the same time.
Pat Sr.: “I’m going to come over and break that camera over your head, and come back and interview you about what it’s like to have that camera broken over your head”
Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) has lost everything — his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert DeNiro) after spending eight months is a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet-and to share their family’s obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. When Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he’ll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.
Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended
Story: 100% Acting: 100% Characters: 100% Dialogue: 95%
Drama/Comedy: 90% Style/Sound: 90% Visuals: 95%
The story is excellent and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t expect to like the story as the trailer sold me on the characters but not the story, my fear was that the dancing thing would be the whole story and as it was more revolved around the journeys of its characters I really liked it. The acting was perfect from the whole cast, the best work I have seen from Bradley Cooper and the best work I have seen from Jennifer Lawrence, plus Robert De Niro has started actually acting again it’s nice to see from time to time. I found relating to Coopers character very easy especially when it came to the reason he snapped and ended up in the looney bin. I think hearing the words “I think you should leave” from a naked man sleeping with your wife would put anyone over the edge and then a bit more. I got a little angry just watching this scene, so in that respect the film works really well.
Right so let’s move onto the relationships of the film. First up we have the obvious one being between Pat and Tiffany. Their relationship stems from two very bad situations death and betrayal and whilst this causes friction between them it does prove to be funny to watch and a see their relationship bloom, this line Tiffany sums up their conflicting relationship quite well “You are afraid to be alive, you are afraid to live. You’re a hypocrite, you’re a conformist. You’re a liar! I opened up to you and you judged me. You’re an asshole!” Lastly we have the fantastic father son relationship beautifully played out between Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro both showing a fantastic range of emotion their situation brings to the surface. The fight in the loft was my favourite between them and works on many levels.
Drama and comedy are two genres that are near opposites and so having them together can be very difficult but they worked them together really well, but obviously leaning towards the drama side of things probably worked much better when it came to the subject of anger problems. The style of the film was great from the music used to characters involved, and you can’t get more style than with Chris Tucker haha but seriously he was a very fun character trying to get out of the hospital. Not much else to say as it was all very good when it came to the visuals but there you go, next is the trailer, reviews, and my favourite scene.
Must Watch Trailer:
The best reviews I found would be these “It’s a rom-com that succeeds in revitalizing that discredited genre where so many others have failed, injecting it with the grit and emotion of realist drama rather than with amped-up whimsy or social satire or montages of people walking on the beach” Andrew O’Hehir. “This is a date movie that caters to the needs of both men and women: American football and comedy, ballroom dancing and romance. Silver Linings Playbook covers all those bases — and rises above them too” Kate Muir. “Silver Linings Playbook is defined by the positive decisions that are made in the face of imperfection, desperation, and the desolate wasteland of your world in pieces” Blake Howard. “On the surface Silver Linings Playbook is a raucous romantic comedy, but its real interests are superstition and delusion” Mark Pfeiffer.
My favourite scene would have to be either Pat not having a filter on his thoughts and saying the most inappropriate things someone could say or Robert De Niro’s characters reaction after losing a game, clearly showing he can still do serious acting as he plays a convincing angry man.