Review – Silver Linings Playbook

To anyone who’s ever felt like they’ve seriously lost the plot this movie starts out a little confronting and a lot honest.

The run down

Dolores and Patrizio Solitano (Jacqui Weaver and De Niro)take their son Pat Jnr (Bradley Cooper) back into their home after his eight month, court appointed stay in a Baltimore mental health facility. Not long after he meets Tiffany.

Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence) and Pat have both recently seriously lost their respective plots and are dealing with some heavy mental health issues. The former sleeping with everyone in her office after the death of her husband and the later nearly beating his wife’s lover to death in their shower.

The pair are blunt and brutal in their dissection of how they got to be in the mess they are trying to walk out of. Pat’s salvation and the movie title are one in the same. He looks for the silver lining in situations and he believes that he will get back together with Nikki. Tiffany seeks solace in her dancing and falling in love with Pat. The two strike a deal. Pat will partner Tiffany in a dance competition and in return she will deliver a letter to his wife, that won’t compromise the restraining order against him. At dance practice they start to fall for each other but will he let go of his love for his cheating wife?

Fast forward and there’s a few football matches that Pat Snr commits his illegal home bookmaking to and a strange but uplifting appearance by Pat Jnr’s psychiatrist at some of the said football matches. Dr Patel also appears at the Solitano family home and the dance competition. Weird and not really believable.

Anyway finally we’re at the last scene -the dance competition. The ex-wife appears at the comp and it looks like the girl won’t get the guy but you’ll figure it out when you watch it, I won’t spoil it here for you.

My two cents

I would describe Silver Linings Playbook as a movie dealing with mental illness and our ability to overcome it and the relationships that surround it.

For probably at least the first third of this movie, I got a bit worried that the bi-polar, depression, OCD and manic mental health themes would leave me walking out very depressed. I was also sad for Pat and Tiffany. I wanted them to make it and I wasn’t sure they would. At one point when they’re standing outside a movie theatre and the police arrive yet again, I thought there was no way these two would find their way back from their mental illness.

But they do.

Up to this point I would describe the movie as slightly quirky and dark. Not long after this the movie starts to take a more traditional girl meets boy type storyline. You feel the hope, the upbeat mood and the romance arriving. You laugh with the characters and you want to shout at them a little bit, but most of all you really want to see what happens. I like happy endings and all the loose ends tied up and this movie fit that bill.

I’d be interested to read the book that the movie is based on and see what’s been cut out because the quick wrap up and happy ending made me think that there was a bit more in between that the characters had to deal with.

A great movie that gives us hope that when we loose the plot we will be able to find our way back. I give it 8/10.

Ps – I was disappointed with Jacqui Weaver’s character, she hardly gets to say anything. In some scenes when she’s looking at De Niro (her on screen husband) it’s like it’s like a star struck teenager is in the house but then I guess her fast track Hollywood path could do that to a girl!