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Silver Linings Playbook

Posted by martinteller on May 23, 2013

Another quick review here (is it weird that the “bigger” a film is, the less I want to write about it?).  I quite enjoyed this movie.  It’s somewhat predictable at the end, but that’s how genre films (in this case, the romcom) usually are, and it manages to avoid staleness.  It’s not especially funny, but I appreciate how it uses mental illness as a source of humor without at all making light of it.  Does that make sense?  What I mean is that the film doesn’t just use people with problems as punchlines… it recognizes the humor that can arise from mental instability while acknowledging the humanity behind it.

The movie also considerably improved my opinions of many of the players.  It’s the best work I’ve seen from De Niro in ages, probably since Jackie Brown.  It reaffirmed my feelings that Lawrence is someone to keep an eye on, even in middling fare like Hunger Games.  Cooper isn’t an actor I’ve given much attention before, but he gives a strong performance here.  I realized I actually enjoy Chris Tucker… a lot.  Even Julia Stiles comes out looking pretty good.  On top of that, I’m gonna say this is the most I’ve enjoyed a David O. Russell film, though Three Kings comes close.

Conventional without being cliché, offbeat without being quirky.  Enjoyable script and characters.  Rating: Very Good (83)

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6 Responses to “Silver Linings Playbook”

  1. Jessica said

    It’s a short take, but I think you describe the film very well. I loved how well it balanced the darkness in the disease and the whole situation with humour, keeping it warm and enjoyable without being insufferably sweet, apart from possibly a little towards the end, but on the other hand, as you say: it’s in the genre, so I went for it. I watched it with my 18 year old and it sparked a nice little conversation. It’s that kind of film.

  2. nancy said

    I agree – your review summed it up. Additional points of interest that worked for me: the movie switches focus halfway through the film from pure mental illness issues to a dance contest with romance and mental illness mixed in. Usually a movie that switches focus loses momentum and crashes. This one didn’t – it worked, and I credit the director. This worked so well it made me want to read the book.

    Also, the ending was not clear. The main characters are together, but how? Is she still living behind her parents’ house? Is he still at his parents’ house? Could this relationship possibly work? Has his dad calmed down at all? I love a movie that leaves me hanging in a good way – cause that’s life.

    • I didn’t even know there was a book! I’m not sure the movie made me want to read it, though. I think I’m good with just the movie.

      Another nice thing about the ending… “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. Is there any greater Xmas song? It’s soooo heartbreaking in MEET ME IN ST LOUIS. God, I get choked up just humming it.

  3. I love this movie! And I’m glad you loved it as well. Short review yes but don’t worry, I usually stray from reviewing new/big releases altogether since there is so much that people have to say about them at the time, or maybe I’m just too lazy. I agree with your points. This film knows how to balance its subject matter without ever going too far into either camp. The only thing is I think it was freakin’ hilarious. I pretty much laughed almost every minute until towards the end where everything was wrapped up neatly, perhaps a bit too neatly. But hey, it fits. I don’t think I wanted a sad ending for this film. It would just throw everything off balance.
    And I also don’t have any desire to pick up the book (which I thought was a comic book btw)

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