Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

 

“Silver Linings Playbook” brilliantly brings together characters across scenes that fluidly weave together gravity and comedy. It presents no character as perfect, especially those who seem great on the outside.

The movie opens with Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), a young man with bipolar disorder, as he is leaving a mental health facility with his overly protective mother (Jacki Weaver). Pat, who appears normal, wants to rebuild his life on his own terms. His father (Robert De Niro), who shows signs of OCD and violent tendencies, simply wants their lives to return to normal.

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Pat soon receives companionship and a wakeup call in the form of Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), the “crazy” sister-in-law of one of Pat’s friends. The characters mesh well with each other, dashing through lines of sharp but lively banter. At the beginning of the movie, the main point of judgment and focus was Pat, but as the movie progresses, we see beneath the surface of the other characters’ lives.

Tiffany is by far the strongest character; she owns up to her mental problems and past mistakes. She has accepted herself and challenges everyone else to do the same, to accept themselves and to come together instead of constantly fighting and pushing each other away. Cooper flawlessly portrays his character’s bipolarity, and Lawrence delivers her character’s conviction and strength every minute she is onscreen. De Niro is exactly the controlling, desperate presence needed for his character’s emotional complex.

Everything about “Silver Linings Playbook” is well done, clever, and profound. It is a movie definitely worth watching.

Grade: A

Perez is a member of the class of 2016.

 



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