Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Matinee: Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

What an amazing year we have had with movies, no?  I can't remember the last time I'd seen so many of the Oscar nominees...so many films that I actually wanted to see.  But it was the day of the Oscars, and this one was still on my list, so my mom, son and I raced out to see it.

It was impossible to go into the movie not knowing anything about it, there has been such an overwhelming amount of coverage and hype.  There were some experts in EW that honestly felt this movie should win EVERYTHING it was nominated for (SEVEN major categories!).  Best Picture.  Best Director.  Adapted Screenplay.  Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Supporting Actor (Robert DeNiro) and Best Supporting Actress (Jacki Weaver).  So.  Obviously well-acted.  Obviously a good flick.  I walked in assuming "a smart rom-com".  


For the most part, that would be correct.  But there is some heft here that I didn't expect.  The story centers on Pat, a man who, upon finding his wife in the shower with a co-worker, beat the man nearly to death and was hospitalized for bi-polar disorder.  Now he is out with a new lease on life, determined to convince his estranged wife that he is worthy of her.  It is an uphill battle.  He is living at home with his hovering, nervous mother (Weaver) and obsessive-compulsive father who is completely absorbed with the Philadelphia Eagles (DeNiro).  Pat's strength is tested daily, and sometimes he fails.

Enter the damaged young widow Tiffany (Lawrence) who is looking to make a connection.  She is sexy and edgy, he is attracted but the wife, and they both circle each other cautiously in a haze of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics.  She invites him to be her dance partner in a contest, and...there you go.  You can take it from there.

The plot is actually very predictable, in the way that, let's say, When Harry Met Sally is predictable, but I'm not sure I would want it any other way.  Like my son said "Well, heck mom, what would you want to happen?  Have Tiffany get hit by a bus?".  Point taken.  The film rises to a higher level because of the acting.  Everybody in here, from Pat and Tiffany, to Pat's parents, to the nutty side characters (Pat's boyhood friend stifled by a baby and marriage, Pat's happy-go-lucky friend from the psych ward, Pat's Eagles-crazed shrink)...they are all a little bit messed up.  But these are endearing issues that rarely go down a darkened path.  It's happy nuttiness.  

There are a few moments of sobriety...I think Pat's mental illness was pretty realistic.  But most of the movie has a subtle tongue-in-cheek humor.  Not so much laugh-out-loud, but more a light-hearted ode to the complexities of modern love.  Unlike most Oscar movies, which always seem to be floating in death and angst and pain, you will walk out of this one feeling good.

4.5 out of 5 stars
  

14 comments:

Julie P. said...

I don't see many movies but this one is at the top of my list.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'm so glad you liked this! :--)

caite said...

boy, that anonymous says such clever things...

but back to the movie. if I were ever in a psych ward, I would hope to be Happy go lucky. I mean, why not?

Carrie K. said...

I'm going to see this tonight with my best friend - can't wait!

Zibilee said...

I saw this one and loved it! It was very realistic, and sad, yet funny at the same time. Bradley Cooper did a really excellent job playing his role, as did Jennifer Lawrence. This is one that I would buy for my home collection. Excellent review!

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I cannot wait to see this!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I can't wait to see this one either...and it takes a lot to make me actually go to the movie (don't ask why...I'm just weird :p) I may even break my "read the book first" rule on this one.

Tasha B. said...

It was a really good movie year! I agree, I've never seen a year where I actually wanted to see all the Best Picture nominees.

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I have been curious about this movie. Your review has me thinking this is a movie I would like. Thanks for the review. I will put it on my must see list!

Meg @ write meg! said...

Oh, I'm so eager to see this one -- and so glad to see it leaves a smile on your face. You're absolutely right: so many of the Oscar-winning films are complete downers... and I have enough negativity in my day-to-day life, thank you.

JoAnn said...

I loved this one!!

Jenny said...

We really did have a great Oscar lineup this year! I really enjoyed this one too, though it was deeper than I expected. I had hoped Cooper would win best oscar. How much did you love the dance scene?? LOL!

Jenners said...

I so enjoyed this one … I think I can get my husband to watch it becuase of the Eagles stuff (that is our home team) so I'm excited to see it again. It was a good year for movies, wasn't it?

stacybuckeye said...

Loved the movie. My mom is reading the book now so when she's done it'll be a good excuse to see it again.