Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro
Director: David O. Russel
Runtime: 122 minutes
Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), a man suffering from bipolar disorder, is trying to get his life back together and reconcile with his wife whom he lost after an episodic rage that put him into a mental hospital for 8 months. Along the way he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a recently widowed ex sex addict. This new friendship drives the story forward with a series of conflicting events that make for on-screen magic. The story is constantly changing from a love story about a man and his ex wife, to a second coming of age for a man trying to put the pieces of his life back together and finally into a brand new romance. It is a story that makes going to the movies tremendously exciting.
Silver Linings Playbook is a love story that is as lost as it’s characters, and that is a great thing. The relationship between Pat and Tiffany starts off oddly enough, a dinner at Tiffany’s sisters house where they first meet and exchange multiple awkward comments ends with a sex proposal. Their connection and friendship does not get any less awkward and strange for about 90% of the film’s 2 hour runtime.
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence shine in this incredible film. They play to their character’s neuroses with such genius it often becomes hard to remember that that they are acting. They became their characters for their roles. Robert De Niro as Cooper’s father is just the icing on top of the proverbial cake. These three make up one of the best casting ensembles in a drama/comedy the industry has seen in many years. As in all films, there are definitely weak links present in Silver Linings Playbook. Tiffany’s sister Veronica (Julia Stiles) shows signs of over acting but with so many great performances it is barely worth complaining over. Unfortunately, many audiences, due to the predominance of the aforementioned trio, may miss Jacki Weaver’s stellar performance as Pat’s Mother.
David O. Russel penned a beautiful, catch you in your gut script that will leave you wanting more. The dialogue is fantastic and the story is enveloping. Although the film is based on the novel of the same name, Russel takes Matthew Quick’s novel and twists the story into something better fitting for the big screen. I am a big fan of romantic dramas but have never been so engrossed by a film like I was with Silver Linings Playbook. With amazingly deep characters and an incredible story with fluent, believable, scenes, Playbook is a movie to be seen by all moviegoers.
An incredibly deep script, brilliant performances, and superb directing are just three of the reasons that Silver Linings Playbook is easily one of the best movies of the year.