Silver Linings Playbook: Movie Review

image credit: Weinstein Company

Two separate mentally unstable people are about to tango in life after their own precarious episode. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, was sent to institution after a bloody incident with his wife and her lover who happens to be his co-teacher. She was fired from work, sent home and put on medication after treating her depression by having sex with the rest of the office. Now he's homeless, had his house sold by his wife and now back at the custody of his parents with a restraining order to boot. And now she's widowed by a dead husband and living at what used to be her parents' garage. He's looking for a way to get back to his wife and that only way happens to be her. Together, what used to be crazy might make them happy as they're on their way to positivity. Excelsior!

Directed by:
David O. Russell

Cast of Characters:
PatBradley Cooper
TiffanyJennifer Lawrence
Pat Sr.Robert De Niro
DoloresJacki Weaver
DannyChris Tucker
Dr. Cliff PatelAnumpam Kher
RonnieJohn Ortiz
VeronicaJulia Styles

The story is simply awesome. There's nothing I could complain of in this movie—from cinematography, music, choice of actors, dialogue, screenplay to acting. Well, save for Bradley Cooper's acting. He seems like he never outgrew the character with which he's used to play about—a comical one. From his manic face, to expressing his disgust, to speaking like a kid, to sounding pitchy as he speaks like a kid, he is like the same person in a comical role. The only time he deviates from his similar acting is when he's playing serious roles in which his acting is never alike even if they're all sober ones.

As for the cinematography, I like how the camera panned at Cooper's hands to emphasize on his ring inside that therapist's office. That was quite a view. I didn't know where to look at if you catch my drift or what is being accentuated have I not seen the band on his ring finger. And before that, as he approached the receptionist's desk, Cherie Amore played on the background (which actually is his trigger and the therapist was just testing him) and then the camera panned on the receptionist's face. It was funny because I didn't know that Cherie Amore was his trigger and it's such a romantic song that if you don't know that Lawrence is his partner here, for a moment you'd think there will be a thing going with him and that receptionist. That was such a joke by the filmmakers.

When I read from the internet that Bradley Cooper was cast to be in a movie with Jennifer Lawrence, I was skeptical with their teamup. The movie wasn't shot yet, only the casts and the filmmakers were announced. So I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm a fan of Bradley Cooper and have seen him in movies that will mostly crack you up. If there are serious ones, they involve romance or a spice of life—that thing about that plagiarism with a book. It's because of looking up Cooper in the internet that I received this news back then.

Since the released casting revealed that both Cooper and Lawrence are the main characters, I was sure that it will be a romantic movie. And I don't know what's my take on that. Cooper is way younger than Lawrence. They don't fall on the same age group. There's a huge gap on the two, they aren't batchmates. Damn, how much more can I reiterate on that? I wondered how the filmmakers are going to make the romance work on the both of them and mostly what the movie is about.

Meanwhile, I know that Jennifer Lawrence has such a humorous personality that could go well with a comedy role. And I've seen how she acted as Mystique for X-men First Class. If I haven't checked her out, I wouldn't have known she's just 20 (so much younger than me) as Mystique!

Watching X-men, Jennifer Lawrence reminds me of a younger version of Stifler's mom in American Pie. That was my first ever impression of her. And since I'm a fan of X-men with all its mutants I know that it takes a lot of courage to be painted blue while naked. Much more to act with other actors naked. Even when she's all blue. So when she acted all sexy in this movie with just acting with an air, without dressing like one, I forgot about her being Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games and I'm seeing the feisty young Mystique.

I know from X-men how sexy her voice could be when angry (mocking "Mutant and proud") and more when she dips it lower, all the more huskier. The filmmakers must have noticed her performance as Mystique that they know she could pull off the role of Tiffany quite well. But she definitely looks young in here so I couldn't hide my amusement when Pat (Bradley Cooper) asked how old she is. For which she answered,
Old enough to have married and not wind up in a mental hospital.

Tifanny looks tough and she acts tough. If you are so used to Jennifer Lawrence with her movies, you could lump her with being tough. But not all whores (pardon me for the profanity) are tough. Just because they could do things on their own doesn't mean that they don't need someone to share their burdens and be comforted at the end of the day. While Tifanny is such a headstrong girl, you could see her vulnerability and her anxiety at losing Pat. It was evident that after losing Tommy (her husband) for a time, she's placing other people to be her comfort. And meeting Pat, she was pining for him. They're alike in a crazy way.

So think about how an actress could act tough and fragile at the same time. Jennifer Lawrence has justified her role for that. In fact, I feel intimidated with her acting. It has almost been a year since she won Best Actress at Academy Awards for this movie. Back then, I thought that maybe the judges were just putting her at a pedestal way too high for her. You know about the thing they call timing? They could just put people in winning Best in Acting just when they like it and since it feels timely for them. Lots of people had surmised that ever since Meryll Streep hadn't won the role for the devil in The Devil Wears Prada. I swear, I didn't know that was Meryll! But she grabbed that Best Actress trophy again years later. As for Jennifer Lawrence? She definitely deserves that Oscar's body. She is really talented not just with acting but also singing and in this movie, I'm more amazed with her dancing.

Musical Scoring
The background music is always playful. It's so easy for the filmmakers to create the atmosphere with the music. That and the way Tiffany walks. And there's that music for Cooper again. I've heard that music intending to be comical with Copper in like 3 movies! If I don't know better, these movies might be with the same team of producers. And for the main song of this movie, I will never listen to Cherie Amor in the same way again.

Having lived with a father diagnosed with Bipolar only on my last year in high school and a sister who's later suffering with mental illness whose doctor wouldn't diagnose her with a name of an illness but whose medication suggests Borderline and changed to Schizophrenia later on, I know how hard it was to live to be surrounded by such people who believe they were sane until mother lost it all and send them to a therapist for the former and institution to the latter. *Sigh* That was long. This movie makes such things funny.

And I have to admit, the movie really is funny. I'm not insulted when Pat throws his book outside his window with the glass shattering and prattles on with his complaints about the book to his parents in the wee hours of the morning, on his parents' misery. I find that really comical. Even though I suffered with some episodes of the members of my family, I can't hide my amusement looking back. Yes, it was hard dealing with them. Even until now. And the medication must go on... forever.

So think about me having quite a laugh with such wretchedness. And think about my sister sharing that laughter when I showed her this movie. So yes, this movie is healthy for those who suffer the same with the characters. It is for everyone whose humor doesn't tarnish. And even those grumpy ones would would have a laugh too.

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