Silver Linings Playbook

Pat Solitano’s (Bradley Cooper) mom (Jacki Weaver) checked him out of the mental institution. His father, Pat Solitano, Sr. (Robert De Niro) isn’t sure it’s the right thing to do. After all, his son lost everything. His house, his job and his wife. His son isn’t exactly stable, to say the least. He nearly beat a coworker to death after finding the man in the shower with his wife, Nikki (Brea Bee).

Pat has developed a positive outlook on life. Everything has a silver lining. Including his marriage. Pat is determined to get Nikki back. And he’s convinced that he can. He just has to show her he has changed.

Part of his plan includes reconnecting with his friend (John Ortiz). His wife, Veronica (Julia Stiles) is friends with Nikki. If he can get close to her, he can get a message to Nikki. At dinner one night, Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), Veronica’s sister. She’s still recovering from her husband’s death. She’s got some issues of her own, to put it nicely.

Tiffany promises to deliver a letter from Pat to Nikki. But he has to do something for her in return. The favor she asks is that he be her dance partner for an upcoming competition, since she is left without her husband as a partner. As the two spend more time together, a bond forms between them.

Silver Linings Playbook is not your run of the mill romcom. I’d almost call it a romdramedy. There is plenty of drama mixed in with the love story. And enough comedy to keep it light. But that’s not to say it’s a light story, by any means. It’s very deep. And well done.

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are excellent. Both really make you feel for their characters. You really believe that these two have some deep-seeded issues plaguing them. And the chemistry between them is amazing. Bradley Cooper has already shown his versatility as an actor, and continues to do so. This is probably the most impressive performance I’ve seen from Jennifer Lawrence. Chris Tucker also does a great job as a friend of Pat’s from the institution. Also, probably his finest performance. He’s able to add the right amount of levity without going over the top. In a pleasant surprise, Robert De Niro is outstanding without becoming the caricature of himself that happens all too often. He turns in a respectable performance as an Eagles obsessed father with his own set of problems.

Sure, you can guess how the story plays out. But it’s the journey getting you there that is the beauty of this film. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about this film, but I absolutely loved it. It tackles issues that aren’t addressed much, and in a way that doesn’t just become a joke. You’ll run through a whole range of emotions with the characters. It is definitely a film that won’t have you leaving the theater feeling empty and that you’ve just wasted the last couple hours.


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