Silver Linings Playbook is probably the best movie, in my opinion, that I’ve seen this year thus far.
It’s a movie that follows two kooky, problem-ridden and lost romantics on a journey towards finding a better solution to their dire, depressing situations.
Photo credit: The Weinstein Company
Bradley Cooper plays Pat Solitano, a married, bipolar man who was recently released from a mental health facility, only to find that his wife has moved out–who put a restraining order on him after a violent incident–and his father has resorted to a life of making big bets. Robert DeNiro plays his father who–charmingly–adds a lot of depth to the cast as he remains at the center for holding the family together; his pursuits to own a restaurant in the family’s winnings, a want to watch Philly Eagles games with his sons, and aims for a mentally-ready Pat keeps the movie grounded in its Philly-family values.
When Pat meets Jennifer Lawrence’s character of Tiffany Maxwell, a recently unemployed widow with a rash, hardy exterior and words full of real depth and emotion, they develop an odd friendship that starts with her offering to help him in reaching out to his wife. We discover both of their pasts, flaws, and brokenness and, as two broken, troubled, medication-experienced souls, there’s a beautiful understanding and oddly hilarious relationship they build between each other that just has to be experienced for yourself.
Jennifer Lawrence’s performance is something to be applauded (which is why her Golden Globe nomination is so well-deserved!). She is so infectiously hilarious, real, emotional, and deep. I’ve always had such a massive amount of respect and love for this girl because of the roles she’s taken on. As an original indie-film chick who recently turned to widespread popularity with her strong character in Harper Collins’ novel-turned-film The Hunger Games, she’s developed such a diverse acting persona that’s able to bring emotions to life, as well as add raw humor to any situation she’s in. As she plays the character of Tiffany in this film–the broken young woman with a rather traumatic past–she carries a conviction and slight, witty humor that has the ability to speak such strong emotional depths through her character’s rashness.
What makes this movie special is that, although it is based on a serious and emotional undertone, it reveals the dark humor these broken characters uphold. In light of darkness, they find humor.
The two leads speak to each other in such an angered, rapid way–words tumbling out of their mouths and talking over each other. They insult each other or, second-handedly, say what they consider the damn hard truth.
At one point, Tiffany tells her sister, played by Julia Stiles, “You love it when I have problems, you love it. Then you can be the good one.”
I particularly love Jennifer Lawrence’s character because she’s witty, humorous, but utterly emotional and broken at the same time. For her blunt, rash truth, she perfectly knows how she is, who she is, and owns herself for all her flaws, loving her flaws as she’s said that she’s learned to forgive. There have been lots of moments throughout the film where she speaks to Pat and opens up about him about her flaws and past and brokenness that really made me fight back some tears… There was something deeply emotional about her, and the thoughts and views and perspectives she held, that I could understand. And, there were absolute beautiful moments of brokenness and reaching out that made me get a little emotional for this so-called “comedy” film.
Ultimately, the “craziness” of the lead two is exciting to watch, as you watch the two unfold in a simple ‘being there for each other’. You watch their quirks seep through their actions and motives. AND, if I might add, it was so nice to see Jennifer Lawrence take on this maturer, adult role with such ease. These angered characters find a place of peace within each other that really makes this story a crazy, odd, and strangely beautiful film… It’s a rare find, and completely easy to fall in love with. You’d be heartless not to. It’s dark, deep, emotional, and funny at the same time… A beautiful comedy. And, a great cast to add with a great story? What’s there not to love?
Have you seen this film? If you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. This is one of those stand-out movies in a realm of so many dry, candy-coated romances, comedies, and superficial stories… It has a rawness unlike many I’ve seen…