Silver Linings Playbook.
With the Oscars coming up on Sunday, I thought it’d be timely to review Silver Linings Playbook, which is up for all sorts of awards. Did it wow? Or was I unimpressed?
Bradley Cooper stars as an ex-teacher who is released from a mental hospital and back into his parents’ care. He had an anxiety disorder and when he found his wife cheating on him, he nearly killed the man involved. As he’s trying to resocialize himself, he meets Jennifer Lawrence, and the two bond over their knowledge of prescription medication and each of them think the other is far more crazy than they are.
Both Cooper and Lawrence deliver incredible performances. They’re both incredibly believable and walk the fine line of trying to play a character with a mental disorder. They’re both fairly likeable and their chemistry that blossoms is incredibly sweet. Robert De Niro stars as Cooper’s father, who also has an almost crippling case of obsessive/compulsive disorder.
The storyline is simple but there are some complex characters and storylines on the fringe that give the film a sense of depth. There’s more to this world than just what our two main characters are experiencing.
What doesn’t work?
I want to restate something I said in the above section. They end up likeable. There’s a good chunk of the movie where Jennifer Lawrence just rubs you the wrong way and it might be hard to relate to Cooper. While this makes for intriguing screenwriting, it also leaves us really devoid of anyone to root for. I think that’s intentional, but viewers with a short attention span may lose interest before we come around to understand our lead characters.
Silver Linings Playbook is a fantastic character piece in which we see two troubled individuals struggle to find out what love is. The story might be predictable to us as outsiders but watching the leads come to the same realization is a treat. Cooper, Lawrence, and De Niro all do outstanding jobs and portray a realistic image of what it’s like to be (or be around) someone with these kinds of disorders. I would definitely recommend you rent Silver Linings Playbook and trust that the ending is worth the emotional rollercoaster ride to get there.