I mentioned in last week’s review that I promised to also review more mainstream entertainment (because not everyone is as fascinated with zombie culture as I am… I guess), and having just recently watched Silver Linings Playbook, I thought it would be the perfect choice, especially with the Oscars just a few weeks away. So, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the film, let me give you a brief synopsis: Pat (Bradley Cooper), who just finished a brief sentence in a mental hospital, is now back home living with his parents, attempting to control his bi-polar disorder while reconciling with his wife. Along the way, he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), struggling with her own mental and emotional instability, who agrees to help him in his quest to win his wife back, but only if he helps her with a project of her own.
Primarily billed as a comedy, the movie feels, to me, more like a roller coaster ride; which, given the unstable condition of the main character, Pat, is a fitting way to take audiences along on his journey. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of opportunities for comedic release and I laughed (loudly) throughout the film, but if I had to classify it at all, I would say it’s more of a romantic dramedy. There are several intense moments where Pat’s volatility comes to a head, where the “crazy” comes out, but there are also enough tender, feel-good moments to make me want to see this film again and again. I thoroughly enjoyed Pat’s journey, but even more than that, I absolutely loved the performances of each and every actor in this picture! Robert De Niro, for me, is a standout as Pat’s gruff, superstitious father (with a heart of gold, naturally), and, of course, Bradley Cooper as Pat is the most believable role I think I’ve seen on screen in a while. I cannot say enough good things about the acting, and directing, of this film; the entire cast, from the smallest supporting role on up, is felt in every scene and I find myself still thinking about each of the characters. The cast, and the film, absolutely deserve all of the awards and nominations they have received.
I would definitely recommend this film, but I will put in a small word of warning. As I mentioned, there are a few intense emotional, “crazy” scenes and I just want to warn you because I know they came as a surprise to me and my sister who were not expecting it at all. The film has been billed as a comedy, which it certainly has its funny moments, but I think they do audiences a disservice by not portraying any of the emotional drama in the advertisements (or at least, any that I saw). That being said, I absolutely loved this film and I cannot wait until it’s out on video so that I can watch it again! The acting is superb and the story is so rich and full of so many great moments that I was able to lose myself in the journey and believe every word that was said. Go see Silver Linings Playbook!