Before I start, I want to throw out there that Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence were phenomenal. Two actors that recently exploded in popularity for blockbuster films were able to expertly capture the smaller-budget indie flick, in which they were both type-cast completely different roles than what one would usually expect.
Both were also able to be extremely good-looking, despite their mental instability.
Silver Linings Playbook expertly portrayed the family and social struggles of mental illness, and the instability in one’s own head to make sense of their own thoughts. Pat (Cooper) and Tiffany (Lawrence) meet in an awkward and unlikely dinner party, upon which they immediately insult each others’ problems and hate each other. Pat, who is under a restraining order by his wife after beating up a man she had an affair with, looks on the bright side of his condition and tries to find the “silver lining” in every sitation. Tiffany is more pessimistic, though grows fond of Pat.
The story is seemingly about Pat’s recovery and obsession for his lost love Nikki, whom his peers believe to hate him and imply that he should move on. Her name is constantly tossed around during the movie, and Tiffany has a connection to her that Pat tries to exploit, only to make for a more difficult situation at the end of the film in which the audience doesn’t know which girl he chooses.
Somewhat predictably, Pat makes promises to both his father (Robert de Niro) and to Tiffany to help them with the superstition of winning the Philadelphia Eagles game and participating in a dance competition; their respective passions. Throughout the movie, Pat grows beyond the script so that the ending is expected, but delivered in a surprising way. Those analyzing the movie will watch his growth, though Pat learns to hide his feelings rather than to let them control him through rage.
Silver Linings Playbook outlines the family and social struggles than many people suffer through, along with the individual and mental problems that plague every one of us.
I’d make this the second best movie I’ve seen in 2012, only behind Argo.