I watched Silver Linings Playbook back in September at the Toronto International Film Festival, but since it opens in theateres today, I decided that I should revisit it. Here’s what I initially said in my capsule review of the film:
It’s a movie that makes mental illness fun again! Bradley Cooper plays Pat, a dude freshly out of the mental institution who has to acclimate back to his life while living with his parents (played by the PERFECT pair of Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver) and trying to fix things with his ex-wife. When he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), he learns she has issues of her own and they become fast frenemies. There’s also a dance competition involved — and I think that’s what made me fall in love with this movie, naturally. That and the fact that David O. Russell pretty much cranked out another top-notch working class movie. In fact, everyone in this movie does such a damn good job that it’s disgusting. This may be bold, but I am forecasting a 75% chance that Cooper may snag an award nod — more Golden Globe than Oscar. (BONUS: Chris Tucker is in this movie. He’s acting again!)
Yeah. My feelings about the movie still haven’t changed. I would actually watch it again.
Bradley Cooper is one of those attractive guys that can act as opposed to someone like Brad Pitt who eventually learned to act. Whereas Pitt’s talent caught up with his looks, Cooper’s looks have always been at a reasonable pace with his talent. (I mean, have you seen him in Wet Hot American Summer?) Then there’s Jennifer Lawrence, who I refer to as the “Kelly Clarkson of Hollywood”. Not because they look alike, but because they tend to have formulaic approach to their “craft” that is the same, yet different all the time. Kelly always uses her pop rock shtick with every single album that not only exercises her brilliant vocals, but illustrates gritty female empowerment via a scorned love life. Lawrence seems to always play the same type of gal, but with a different point of view. In other words, it seems like she’s the same girl but always has to adapt to the environment around her — but we still see her talent and, like Kelly, she has this gal pal grit to her that makes you like anything she does (including something like House at the End of the Street).
In addition to the damn good cast, there is an offbeat charm to Silver Linings Playbook (based on the novel by Matthew Quick, mind you). Offbeat because 1.) It explores mental illness and, as mentioned before, adds levity to it. and 2.) it has this random dance competition in there.
When I heard that this movie had a dance competition in it, a “WTF” floated above my head. And then when I watched the movie. It still didn’t make total sense. But it was pretty fun. And of course, any movie that gives a hint of a Chris Tucker resurgence is always a silver lining in my playbook. And I simply adore Jacki Weaver. She makes me happy. Then there’s De Niro. Although he did a nice job as a superstitious OCD dad with a gambling problem, his name alone guarantees him some sort of supporting nod. But I think it will be more on the Golden Globe side of things. In fact, I think this is a Golden Globe caliber movie in terms of acting. As a film, it should get nods in the Oscar world.
I may be totally wrong about all this. I usually am.
In any case, S.L.P. is David O. Russell‘s intersection of The Fighter and I Heart Huckabees. It’s heavy and dramatic, but with a fine amount of levity humor. It already has a spot in my “Best of 2012” list. Boo yah.
Silver Linings Playbook opens in theaters today.