Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

After witnessing his wife, Nikki (Bree Bee) in the shower with another man, Pat (Bradley Cooper) snaps, and he nearly beats Nikki’s lover to death. Diagnosed with a bipolar disorder,  Pat serves an eight month court ordered sentence in a mental hospital. Pat develops a friendship with another patient named Danny (Chris Tucker), but Nikki has a restraining order against Pat, and Pat will have to readjust to the real world soon enough. When she arrives to take him home, Pat’s mother, Dolores (Jacki Weaver) has her doubts, but Pat promises change. Pat’s father, Pat, Sr. (Robert De Niro) is a devoted and passionate Eagles’ fan, and he tries to make up for some lost time with Pat.

Delusional and determined to reinvent himself, Pat tries to straighten out his life, but an unhinged widow disrupts Pat’s mission to win back his ex-wife. Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) agrees to deliver Pat’s apology letter to Nikki, but only under two conditions: Pat must train with Tiffany, and become her partner for a dance contest.

I didn’t think he had it in him, but Bradley Cooper delivers a fantastic performance here. Pat is a trainwreck, but you can still root for him. Cooper is usually more successful with full blown comedy characters, and Pat has a quirky sense of humor, but Cooper really nails the emotional and heartbroken side of  Pat‘s character. Jennifer Lawrence is spot on as Tiffany. Tiffany is a free spirit, but she’ll fly off the handle in an instant, if someone pushes her too far. De Niro and Weaver are solid in their supporting roles, but Chris Tucker really didn’t add anything to this film, and his character is pretty useless.

Silver Linings Playbook isn’t bad, but I honestly can’t understand the raging hard-ons critics have for this film. Yes, Silver Linings Playbook provides a nice balance of drama and humor. Plus, the delicate and sensitive approach towards the subject of mental illnesses is something to admire. But let’s not kid ourselves here. Silver Linings Playbook isn’t some groundbreaking achievement for the romantic comedy genre. No, it’s barley above average, and you can see every “twist” and “turn” coming from a mile away. Seriously, just watch the trailer, and take a wild guess at happens between Pat and Tiffany at the very end.

Maybe I’m just a grouch, or I’m still waiting for the holiday spirit to hit me, but Silver Linings Playbook didn’t blow me away. Cooper or Lawrence might receive an Oscar nomination, but in a few weeks, I’ll forget about this film, and Silver Linings Playbook won’t have any lasting effects on me.

Final Rating: 6/10

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