People like you and me get mental illnesses.
People like Bradley Cooper get everything else.
I was, therefore, prepared to let my cynicism off its leash and had braced myself to be savagely underwhelmed by Silver Linings Playbook. A smart-arse review title, and a run-in with a choc-top* are all that remain of my cunning plan.
This was a late, Saturday Night “what could go wrong”, style choice with @wandajmas and friend Rhonda. I kinda got outvoted as I was gunning for “Lincoln”, but I would have seen this anyway in due course. (this review is 9 months late).
Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) loses his job, his autonomy and his wife (who was lost to him in any case). After spending eight months in an institution its pretty clear that Pat doesn’t have it all together, but he lies so he can get back into the real world living with his parents (Jacki Weaver and Robert DeNiro).
Pat’s one stable foundation is his drive to re-unite with his wife – something forbidden by the courts, and , well, common-sense. Not that Pat sees it that way of course. He accidentally bumps into Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) a (very) troubled girl who wants Pat for reasons of her own. Not that the obsessive Pat can take any hints.
Meanwhile his family’s delusional obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team, whilst amusing – even endearing, raises questions over what and who is normal in the Solatano household. In fact how far Pat’s father takes his obsession is more frightening than anything Pat has done or might do. Mistakes that large in your 60’s can’t be undone. Pat on the other had has 30 years to make good.
So can Pat satisfy what everyone wants from him, take what blows are coming to him, see whats real and what is fantasy without coming apart at the seams?
There is a Silver Lining to be had from all this drama, but we don’t know if Pat can see it, much less grasp it – you’ll have to watch it.
The truth is that Silver Linings Playbook is a film with heart. Well acted, well scripted, it well exceeded my expectation late on a Saturday night over 9 months ago.
I’d give it 8 out of 10