Movie Review: Silver Linings Playbook

silver linings playbookAgainst medical advice and without the knowledge of her husband Pat Solatano Sr., caring Dolores Solatano discharges her adult son, Pat Solatano Jr., from a Maryland mental health institution after his minimum eight month court ordered stint. The condition of the release includes Pat Jr. moving back in with his parents in their Philadelphia home. Although Pat Jr.’s institutionalization was due to him beating up the lover of his wife Nikki, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Nikki has since left him and has received a restraining order against him. Although he is on medication (which he doesn’t take because of the way it makes him feel) and has mandatory therapy sessions, Pat Jr. feels like he can manage on the outside solely by healthy living and looking for the “silver linings” in his life. His goals are to get his old job back as a substitute teacher, but more importantly reunite with Nikki.

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Pat (Bradley Cooper) is being released for a mental institution after a 8 month stay. He was forced by the court to undergo mental evaluation after catching his wife in the shower together with one of her colleagues, who he promptly beat to a pulp. As soon as he gets out, his only goal is to get back with his wife, Nikki, who has put out a restraining order. He’s getting in shape, reading the books that she teaches, generally trying to show her that he’s better now and that he is ready to resume their marriage. That is not really going very well until he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) a young widow who, after her husband’s death, also went a little crazy. Tiffany promises to help Pat with Nikki but only if he promises to be her dance partner in a upcoming dance competition.

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I’m just going to jump right in here: this movie is everything a movie should be. The first thing that caught my attention is how real it felt. Especially the arguments. Often in movies arguments are passionate but short and it ends with someone either getting punched in the face or walking away but in this movie, you feel the desperation of Pat not being able to make clear what he wants and not being able to let out his frustrations the way he would have before, namely by punching someone half to death. I think they conveyed living with a mental illness really well, not only with Pat but also with his dad (Robert De Niro), who obviously suffers from undiagnosed OCD. If something, anything, isn’t the way it should be on ‘Game Day’, he will panic because of what might happen. He calls it superstition but it’s obviously more than that.

The acting in this movie was amazing. We all know that Jennifer Lawrence got an Oscar for her role as Tiffany and she definitely deserved it. Did you know that Jennifer Lawrence is 3 months younger than me? Makes you think about what you’re doing with your life.. But anyway, one of the best scenes from the movie is in the diner where Tiffany gets angry at Pat for judging her for her exploits. There is something in her look when she goes from incredulous to angry which is so subtle but so powerful. And her manic laughter right before she sweeps everything that’s on the table to the ground.

“I opened up to you and you judged me”

What great about this movie is that the most important parts in the movies are silent. When Tiffany gets angry in the diner, when Pat realizes that Tiffany had been lying to her, Tiffany looking at Pat talking to Nikki from across the dance floor. But the one that got me the most was the scene in the attic at Christmas time when Tiffany is trying to tie Pat’s tie and failing at it and while she is running around trying to find something, Pat is just looking at her with that look that says so much; everything from betrayal to acceptance and friendship and love. It was my favourite part of the movie.

Like I said before, we all know that Jennifer Lawrence got an Oscar for her role in Silver Linings Playbook but seriously, Bradley Cooper should have won an Oscar, too. I say this completely prejudiced as I haven’t seen Lincoln yet so I may change my mind, but I was absolutely blown away by his performance.

SLP is a beautiful movie about two people who have been going through a hard time recently and are, with lack of a better word, fucked up right now. But somehow, they manage to help each other without noticing.

The only way to beat my crazy was by doing something even crazier. Thank you. I love you. I knew it from the moment I saw you. I’m sorry it took me so long to catch up.

I want to watch this movie again and again and again. I recommend it to everyone.

Rating: 4,75/5

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Author: EMK

Just blogging away in my free time while I try to make something of my life

7 thoughts on “Movie Review: Silver Linings Playbook”

    1. Haha! You know, I didn’t know it was a book? Right up till the credits said ‘based on the book by..’ and I was like.. no way.. I need to have it.

      But hey, it happens 😛 I liked the Notebook movie better than the book 😛

  1. I loved this movie so much. My favourite bit probably has to be right at the end when they’re doing the lift in the dance. It just summed up the film really well – it made me laugh and although it’s obvious that they aren’t perfect, it’s ok that way and it all works out.

    1. Exactly! I guess it wouldn’t be real if they had performed perfectly and gotten really good grades for their dance, it would have been really cliché. This way, they stayed true to the story that no, they’re not perfect but they try and together they come out kinda okay 😀

  2. I completely agree with you about how real this movie felt. It was painful to sit through in some scenes, but a pain that somehow felt good because you were completely convinced by it.

    I had a few issues with the movie though…which I’ll not rant about but just mention to add to the discussion, haha!

    1. I love Jennifer Lawrence, but I felt that she was way too young for that role. She looked like she was what, 20? And she’d already been married and widowed? I guess that does happen in real life, but for some reason, despite her brilliant performance (though I’m not sure she deserved the Oscar…) it just never clicked for me.

    2. My major issue was the ending, where they suddenly realize they love each other. It’s just that I felt the major theme of the movie, the major arc, was Pat’s journey to self-healing. He was obviously really messed up, but because he was spending time with another messed up person who helped him start to heal, he was able to treat himself in the end – I mean, he talks to Nikki and then leaves her! That’s a friggin huge step for him! I was so happy that he was really healing, and I just felt that, getting together with Tiffany was not only a step backwards, but also that it was really Hollywood. For me, I didn’t think they needed to get together to make this movie work. Maybe not from a Hollywood standpoint, but whatever! I just felt that, as much progress as Pat had made, Tiffany was still really messed up and I just had difficulty understanding how their relationship would be anything less than toxic, eventually. It’s almost like advice you get after breaking up – you need to learn to be with yourself again, alone, before being with someone else.

    …and those are my thoughts! I enjoyed your review, and now I’m wondering what the book was like…hmm!

    🙂

    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment! How I love long comments..

      Okay so, I completely agree with both of your points and I actually had been thinking about them both while watching the movie. Great minds and all that.

      Yea, like I said in my review, Jennifer Lawrence is 3 months younger than me and I turn 23 in June. I was thinking throughout the whole movie that she’s probably one of the few people in Hollywood that played someone older instead of younger. Anne Hathaway was supposed to play Tiffany but then backed out because of scheduling conflicts so we could probably say that Tiffany is supposed to be older but, I guess it IS possible to have loved and lost when you’re 22 years old. Anyway, I think Tiffany is supposed to be around 27. That’s my guess.

      And the ending.. yea I definitely get what you’re saying. When I watched the movie I was thinking how new and innovative it would be if they somehow didn’t end up together but just.. helped each other heal or something and they definitely did that. They’re not completely healthy yet but you can see how much just dancing together has helped them. I would have expected Pat to freak out when he found out about the letter but he didn’t. I agree that they didn’t have to end up together to make to story work but I guess we’re all just suckers for romance in the end..

      But, who knows, maybe if you stretch the story out a couple of months you would see that they mistook caring for each other for love and they end up just being friends after all. I hope not. Although that would probably be more realistic.

      Definitely a fan of the ‘and they lived (mostly) happily and slightly crazily ever after’ storyline though..

      I have ordered the book (couldn’t help myself) and I will do a review as soon as I’ve read it!

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