Written by Phil Cerroni
By Matt Mungle
Title: Silver Linings Playbook
Silver Linings Playbook is a horrible title but luckily a solid film with a cast that includes People Magazine's hottest man alive and the lady who brought Katniss the girl on fire to life
Pat (Bradley Cooper) has been released from a mental institution into the care of his parents (Robert De Niro/Jacki Weaver). He had a slight breakdown but now is focused and determined to mend things with his ex-wife and get on with his life. His plans are derailed a bit when he meets a quirky young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) with issues of her own.
The theme of the film deals primarily with Pat's determination to stay positive even when everyone is telling him his marriage is over. All his dad is concerned about is his treasured Philadelphia Eagles football team. He is a bit compulsive about the team and the weekly, superstitious rituals he goes through to help them win. All this neurotic behavior collides in a film that is full of solid acting and memorable performances. Yet it seems uncomfortable in its own skin. Not enough to make it un-enjoyable but a bit disjointed and out of sorts.
Cooper seems to be trying to break out of the normal mindless comedy he has been known for and sink his pretty grin into juicier roles. Earlier this year he took on The Words and now this one. If anything, this will help him get some recognition as a pretty decent dramatic actor. Lawrence too shows that although a young woman in this biz she can hold her own with seasoned performers.
I love De Niro in this film. At first you aren't sure if you should like his character, but as you see him deal with his own anxiety you start finding more reason to gravitate to him. His obsessions are at times hilarious. And the final showdown between him and Lawrence is the highlight of the film.
Silver Linings Playbook is rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity. It is certainly an adult film in the themes and dialogue. The language is the main reason for the rating and the other content is confined to one brief scene.
I would recommend this for those who like a nice it of acting and a story that is out of the norm. It has a bit of comedy, romance and a lot of family dysfunction. I give it 3.75 out of 5 jogging paths. Many of the scenes were rough around the edges and the flow of the film at times seemed out of kilter.