A movie based on a man with bipolar disorder and basically Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from seeing his wife cheating on him does not sound like your typical romantic comedy. However in Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence help director David O. Russel to deliver such a poignant, witty, drama that it blurs the line between the two genres.
The plot revolves around Pat (Cooper) who just got released from a psychiatric hospital for an event that happened when he saw his wife cheating on him in his own home. At the beginning of the film the audience finds out that Pat had been living with bipolar disorder his entire life, undiagnosed. Viewers watched with broken hearts every time he had a breakdown. Cooper’s performance was spectacular. It was not overdone or too gimmicky. Watching the character struggle with his disorders was nerve wracking. As the protagonist, the audience wants Pat to succeed, but the man vs. himself conflict is often difficult to watch. That is, until Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) enters the picture with her own issues. Although Cooper did an amazing job with this film, Lawrence shone brighter than every other actor. Lawrence portrays a young widow who is greatly affected by the loss of her husband and uses dancing as a coping mechanism.
The chemistry between Lawrence and Cooper was phenomenal and the dialogue between the other characters also played off well.
The real treat about Playbook though, is the way it handles mental illness. The film is not solely about the ailments the two central individuals possess, instead it is a romantic twist on a recovery tale. Pat and Tiffany are dynamic characters and rather than watching them change, you feel as if you are encouraging them right along with the rest of the characters.
Another highlight of Silver Linings Playbook is Robert de Niro as Pat’s father. It is suggested throughout the film that, much like Cooper’s character, De Niro has an undiagnosed disorder. This makes for a fascinating familial relationship in the film and I found myself dying to see what was happening on the home front than simply focusing on Tiffany and Pat’s relationship.
Silver Linings Playbook deserves the nominations it earned, as does Jennifer Lawrence. This is a rare film that I would recommend for any occasion; date night, going out with the girls, or if you are simply in the mood for a great movie. The topics covered are thought provoking and will prove a great post film conversation. Playbook is a 10/10 movie and I will not be surprised if it is the Best Picture winner. Find out on February 24 who will win by watching the 85th annual Academy Awards.
Until then, check back with SmartFem to read about what other films are nominated for the coveted title of Best Picture!