Dir. David O. Russell
Reviewed Matt Adcock
“The only way to beat my crazy was by doing something even crazier. Thank you. I love you. I knew it from the moment I saw you. I'm sorry it took me so long to catch up.”
You don’t have to be really good looking to be mentally challenged but it obviously doesn’t hurt if looking for a happy ever after ending if Silver Linings Playbook is anything to go by!? Yes, step this way for writer/director David O. ‘The Fighter’ Russell’s feisty, feel-good drama / romance, which sees hottie man’s man Bradley ‘Limitless’ Cooper wooing the Hunger Game’s Jennifer Lawrence – both of whom are struggling with mental health problems…
It might sound like a nightmare cheese-em-up with plastic props to the those who lives have been blighted by their own emotional instability, but (to quote my gorgeous wife) Silver Linings Playbook is ‘One of the best, if not the best, film I have ever seen. Funny, crazy, achingly brilliant and moving and freaky and beautiful!’
"I wanna see you sweat"
High praise indeed and whilst I wouldn’t go quite that far – Silver Linings Playbook was certainly a lot better than I was expecting and actually delivered a great date night experience.
So we have Cooper playing Pat Solitano, a bipolar sufferer (I hate being bipolar, it’s brilliant!! – sorry) who gets out from a spell in an institution where he was locked up for beating one of his fellow teachers into a pulp because he was having an affair with his wife Nikki (Brea Bee).
He’s still convinced that he’s going to get back together with Nikki – this despite her having taken out a restraining order on him, cue therapy sessions with Indian psychiatrist (Anupam Kher), much brow-beating and the occasional freak out… Pat is discharged into the care of his rather dysfunctional family with his OCD dad Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and fretful mum Dolores (Jacki Weaver). But getting back on your feet when you’re still in denial about reality isn’t easy – especially when you have anger management issues. Fortunately there is comic relief on tap from ‘also mental’ buddy Danny (a bulked up Chris Tucker) – even if it doesn’t always sit comfortably with the serious issues Pat is trying to deal with…
"does OCD run in the family?"
Lawrence’s sexy, messed up widow Tiffany is having a bad time after going a bit nuts and having sex with every single one of her work colleagues (yes the women too), so what are the chances that she and Pat will fall in love and overcome their mentalismness through the medium of ballroom dance?
Hey this is where the feel-good heart of the film kicks in, with Pat’s mantra borrowed from Monty Python of ‘always looking on the bright side of life’ leading up to a make or break will they / won’t they end up together ending… Cooper and Lawrence generate tons of steamy chemistry and the dancing mechanic allows for lots of almost kiss moments – plus lingering camera shots of Lawrence’s impressive bust in various skimpy outfits.
Silver Linings Playbook does everything by the numbers, but does it all with lots of conviction so you can’t help but be caught up in the moment. Perfect date material – and possibly the best mental health comedies since One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
ööö1/2 - definitely worth a watch for romantics and mental health sufferers
3.5 – Strong chemistry from the leads makes this sizzle
Awesomeness ööö – the drugs don't work!?
Laughs ööö – some nicely funny stuff, quite dark too
Horror öö – not very grim but Pat's angry wig outs can be scary
Babes öööö – Lawrence is getting fitter by the movie
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - look for the silver linings!
"Lawrence slips into something more comfortable"