Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
While most romantic comedies usually contain bad acting, sappiness, and a large amount of predictable moments; Silver Linings Playbook is the exact opposite. There may be a little amount sappiness in this movie but there is bound to be some in any romantic situations. In reality though, all of the sap in Silver Linings Playbook can be overlooked due to the fact that the film is completely original, extremely funny, and contains outstanding acting from the two lead roles.
Written and directed by David O. Russell (The Fighter), Silver Linings Playbook is about a man, played by Bradley Cooper (Limitless, The Hangover), who was just released from an eight month stint in a psychiatric hospital. He wants to get his life back on track but is being held back by his parents and his unstable condition. After a little while, he strikes up an interesting friendship with a female played by Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone, The Hunger Games). Both of these characters are going through somewhat of the same type of problems which makes their friendship even more quirky and thought-provoking.
Because a large amount of romantic comedies are stale and overdone, Silver Linings Playbook is a breath of fresh air. Usually movies in this genre follow a very particular road map that entails: man is at rock bottom but then finds the perfect girl. After a while, man loses girl and must win girl back in a very cliché and unrealistic fashion. What’s original about Silver Linings Playbook is that it doesn’t follow that mediocre story line in the slightest making it unpredictable but at the same time, more relateable. Chris Tucker is in this movie and even he isn’t predictable. Chris Tucker, the loud-mouthed actor who hasn’t been in a film without the words ‘Rush Hour’ in the title for almost 15 years, was surprisingly mellow. Even though he was mellow, he was still very comedic and played a great role in the film.
The most surprising aspect of Silver Linings Playbook, however, was the performance of Bradley Cooper. Even though this is a comedy, Cooper plays what is maybe one of the most serious roles he’s ever performed. After audience members witness his work in this film, there shouldn’t be any more doubt if the man can act or not. Silver Linings Playbook is without a doubt Cooper’s best work thus far in his career. Jennifer Lawrence has a performance of equal caliber but that is expected from the young Academy Award nominated actress. What was surprising about Lawrence’s role in the movie, was how adult it was. Fans of Lawrence’s work may have been worried that she would be stuck in teenage roles after playing the character Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, but she should silence those doubts after this film with a very adult, yet professional, performance.
Silver Linings Playbook is full of creativity and minimal on romance clichés. It is hands down one of the best romantic comedies to be made within the last couple of years. This film contains many laugh out loud moments and a number of scenes that will warm your heart to the point where you can’t help but leave the theater smiling. Silver Linings Playbook is the perfect date movie that both men and women can easily enjoy. A-