Yes, there actually IS a silver lining

Yes, there actually IS a silver lining

Worth It
Jan 21, 2013
One Comment

One pleasant surprise this awards season is a refreshing film called, cheapest Silver Linings Playbook. If you’ve seen the movie poster you have probably assumed, more about like me, tadalafil that Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in just another predictable romantic comedy. On the poster both actors are shining perfection; eyes twinkling, smiles donned and hair perfectly in place. However, this film couldn’t be farther from that typical tripe. Cooper is unshaven with a gash across his nose while J-Law barely cracks a smile the whole film. So, let’s peel back the misleading poster and take a look at what this film is really about.

Bradley Cooper plays a seriously down and out guy suffering from bipolar disorder. He has just been released from a mental hospital. Because of a violent episode involving his wife’s lover, Pat Solitano (Cooper) has lost his job, his marriage and is now back living with his parents. Played pitch perfectly by DeNiro and Weaver, Pat’s parents struggle to create a healthy environment for their troubled son in a home that is clearly cursed by a lifetime of dysfunction. Regardless, Pat is energized and determined to regain the affection of his estranged wife (who, by the way, has a restraining order on him). As he sets out to get his life back on track he becomes increasingly convinced, beyond delusion, that his positive actions and attitude will make his dreams come true. Enter Tiffany Maxwell (Lawrence); a young widow and recovering sex addict who’s disappointment and anger oozes out of every pore. Pat and Tiffany are introduced through mutual friends and, at first, they seem like they want nothing to do with each other. But an unlikely bond begins to form as Pat sees an opportunity to communicate with his estranged wife through Tiffany.

As the relationship unfolds a unique chemistry slowly develops. While it starts out as a troubling, sad tale of mental illness, it eventually shifts to a cheerful celebration of healing and hope. The biggest surprise here is that director, David O. Russell, manages to pull it off. Most cynics like me would have a hard time with this kind of unbelievable story arc. But, despite the intermingling of disparate moods Russell manages to keep it anchored with the kind of honesty rarely seen in Hollywood. As well, the outstanding performances bring the characters to life. I am not surprised that each acting category on the Oscars nomination list features someone from this movie.

Silver Linings Playbook can be very dark and painfully real but has a unique way of balancing it out with humour and heart-warming twists. In fact, as I watched this film I became increasingly annoyed at the way this insightful and, at times, bleak story was peddled by its marketers as simply a fluffy rom-com. While the happy ending does dance dangerously close to the edge of hokey-ness, the fact that it’s rooted in raw human experience makes the payoff sincere and genuine. The clouds are dark enough that when the silver linings are revealed we welcome them with a big smile.


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Comments:

  1. I agree with the reviewer. Initially, I had no interest in seeing this film, even though my wife begged me to take her. When I eventually went to see it months later with my daughter, I was shocked at the nature of the movie, the quality, the real human tragedy and emotion brought to life by the movie.

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