It is difficult to find a love story that hasn’t already been told or doesn’t make you cringe as it drips with clichés and sappy dialogue.
“Silver Linings Playbook” has accomplished this very feat.
In 122 minutes the comedy/drama duo of Bradley Cooper (“Limitless”) and Jennifer Lawrence (“The Hunger Games”) manage to form two relatable yet extreme characters whose unlikely romance blossoms amid morning jogs, dance practices, fights, football games, therapy sessions, restraining orders and police visits.
“Silver Linings Playbook tells the story of Pat (Cooper), who has spent the past eight months in a mental institution after nearly beating a co-worker to death when he caught the man having an affair with his wife. Pat returns home to his football-obsessed Boston family and, while trying to reconcile with his now estranged wife, meets a troubled young woman named Tiffany (Lawrence) who went through a severe depression and became a sex addict after her husband passed away.
What starts out as a ploy to deliver a secret letter to Pat’s wife (from whom he has a restraining order), using Tiffany, a friend of a friend of the ex wife, turns into a romance neither saw coming. As the two friends struggle to manage mental illness, depression and overcome their pasts, they also find they are strangely perfect for one another.
Blunt, straightforward and somewhat unstable, the two balace each-other out with their no-nonsense attitudes and desperation to find the “silver linings” of their life situation.
Writer and Director David O. Russel (“The Fighter”) has truly made a masterpiece with this off-beat comedy drama that centers around a mentally unstable yet surprisingly optimistic man. The absurd cast of characters around him, including small yet hilarious appearances by Chris Tucker as a friend Pat met while in the mental institution and Anupam Kher as his straightforward and amusing therapist, are also well accepted.
“Silver Linings Playbook” also features brilliant performances by Robert De Niro as Pat’s loving, football-obsessed, gambling father and Jacki Weaver as his loving, emotional, worrying mother.
The film manages to simultaneously make you laugh, cry and root for the romance of two of the most unpredictable and unusual characters that have been on the big screen in a long time.
Viewers will fall in love with this unconventional couple as they bond over morning jogs (filled with witty banter of course), and dance practices as they train for a performance together.
Every scene of this unusual film manages to create a deeper conection between the characters, whether its during their jogs or their quirky dinner date at a local diner, during which both swear the dinner is not a date. This film does not disappoint in any way – just as absurd and hilarious as it is honest, human and emotional.
The scenes are shot beautifully and masterfully, every single one making the audience long for these two characters to overcome their struggles and find the silver linings that they so desperately seek. This is a movie about life. And it is a movie about everything that happens in the struggle to find happiness.
Steffi Porter can be reached at [email protected]