Last night, I watched Silver Linings Playbook with my wife and some friends. Bradley Cooper plays Pat, a man who has been ripped from his community (friends, family, wife, job, etc.) because of an emotional outburst where he beat another man. Eight months later, he finds himself released from the mental hospital that was rehabilitating him. Upon returning to his parents home, you find that everyone in his life is crazy enough to have been in the same mental hospital, but for a little luck they aren’t.
Pat meets Tiffany. Another “crazy” person whose craziness stems from the loss of her husband. They team up to help each other with their problems–he wants to win back his wife, she wants to compete in a team dance competition. From there, it is a typical romantic comedy. Does he really love Tiffany or his wife? Who will get together with whom? Will anyone get together with anyone?
The movie ends well, because–from the romantic comedy perspective–you want Pat to end up with the right girl, and he does.
The movie ends well, because Pat overcomes his craziness with the help of his restoration to community–his father acts like a dad, his mother loves him through it all, his friends gather round to support him, and Tiffany encourages him in all the right ways.
The movie ends well, because Pat isn’t cured by sex or love alone, but by learning to live life guided by principles and commitments–not by following his passions and appetites. In fact, it was living life by the seat of his pants, by his passions and appetites, that ended him up in the loony bin.
It was a fun film: several laugh-out-loud moments, some sweet moments, some dark, serious moments.
It was a film that is for mature audiences. Much more use of expletives and taking the Lord’s name in vain than I expected–although I chalk that up to the directors trying to make it seem more “real” for a Philadelphia family. There was some nudity in Pat’s flashbacks, disturbing, but reflected the disturbing reality of the event that drove him nuts.
And, finally, Bradley Cooper was an amazing actor in this film. He seemed legit in the role. Jennifer Lawrence was good, too, which might explain her Golden Globe for best actress. But I haven’t seen Lawrence in any other film, so I don’t have anything to compare her performance to. Golden Globe good? I don’t know. But good. And DeNiro? Yeah, he was good.