I am all about positivity. Looking at the bright side of every situation isn’t just a hobby of mine — it’s who I am. I was naturally jazzed to see Bradley Cooper’s character in “ Silver Linings Playbook” share the same philosophy.
Where he and I differ, however, is in our mental stability. Cooper’s character, Pat, suffers from bipolar disorder. At the start of the movie, we see him being released from a mental health facility in Maryland. He spent eight months there after nearly beating to death the man he caught his wife cheating on him with.
Pat’s wife files a restraining order against him, so he moves in with his mother and father in Philadelphia. His dad, played by Robert De Niro, is also plagued by a mental condition, obsessive-compulsive disorder. Pat Sr. is obsessed with his hometown Philadelphia Eagles and thinks his son Pat can somehow bring good luck to the team by watching the game with him each Sunday. Pat is less concerned about the Eagles winning than he is about winning his wife back.
The family household is a little rocky during Pat’s first few weeks back. He forces an outlook of blind positivity on everything he does as a way to combat his volatile, unstable nature. Sometimes it’s comical, like the scene where he wakes up his parents in the middle of the night to rant about the anti-fairytale ending of Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms.” Other times it’s scary, like when Pat and his father get into a physical altercation after Pat can’t find his wedding tape.
Cooper is magnificent in his role. For a guy that just wrapped up his third “ Hangover” movie, he is quite convincing in “Silver Linings Playbook” as a guy living an everyday struggle.
Jennifer Lawrence, who plays a recovering sex addict dealing with the recent death of her husband, is convincing as well. Her character, Tiffany, is bold, outspoken and just as socially awkward as Pat is. One uncomfortable meeting and a few confrontational encounters later, Tiffany and Pat make a deal with each other. She agrees to pass along letters he writes to his wife, and he agrees to be her partner in an upcoming dance competition. It’s a weird deal, but so is their friendship.
Lawrence, 22, is able to hold her own in scenes with both Cooper and heavyweight De Niro. All three of their characters possess strong personalities that often make for on-screen fireworks. “Silver Linings Playbook has eight Academy Award Nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Cooper, Best Actress for Lawrence and Best Supporting Actor for De Niro.
There are many elements at play in this film. There’s a football element for sports fans, dancing for performers, complex characters for film lovers and an interesting couple for rom-com fans. For a movie about silver linings, there are more than enough of them to go around.blog comments powered by Disqus