Saturday, January 26, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

“The world will break your heart ten ways to Sunday. That's guaranteed. I can't begin to explain that. Or the craziness inside myself and everyone else. But guess what? Sunday's my favorite day again. I think of what everyone did for me, and I feel like a very lucky guy.” 

            I have wanted to see Silver Linings Playbook for some time now. I adore Bradley Cooper and I have been curious to see Jennifer Lawrence in a movie (I refuse to sit through The Hunger Games) especially now that she has been winning so many awards for either The Hunger Games or this movie. I had no idea whatsoever what this movie was about before sitting through it. I am glad I did not know the plot it made it more enjoyable to see how everything would unfold.
            Pat Solatano (Cooper) has just been released from being institutionalized in a Maryland hospital into his mother’s custody. He father Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) had no idea his wife was picking his son up and is surprised to see Pat home. On the way home Pat had his mother stop at the library. His wife is an English teacher and he wants to read all the books on her syllabus. He spends the day reading Ernest Hemmingway’s A Farewell to Arms. Early the next morning he finishes, freaks out the ending, throws the book out the window, and roars into his parents’ room complaining about it.
            While out on a run he sees his friend Ronnie. Ronnie’s wife Veronica (Julia Stiles) invites Pat over for dinner the following night. Before Pat goes over to Ronnie’s for dinner he sees his psychiatrist. When he enters the office “My Cherie Amour” by Stevie Wonder is playing. Pat freaks out when he hears this song. The psychiatrist played purposely to see if the song was still a trigger for Pat. The song reminds Pat of when he found his wife cheating on him with a history teacher from school. The teacher told him that he felt Pat should leave. Pat then proceeded to beat him almost to death. At Ronnie’s house he meets Veronica’s sister Tiffany (Lawrence). Almost as soon as they meet Pat asks her about her dead cop husband and how he died. The two eventually get talking about the meds they are on for their mental disorders. Tiffany wants to leave and has Pat walk with her home. When they get to her place Tiffany tells him any time he wants to come over she has a place above the garage at her parents’ house and that it is alright if they sleep with each other. Pat still thinks he has a chance with his wife and tells Tiffany so.
            For the sake of keeping this review short and not giving away too many details: Tiffany even though she has just as many issues to work through as Pat does helps him out; Pat Sr. wants to spend time with Pat and feels bad that he never really paid too much attention to him growing up and thinks they can bond over football; Tiffany and Pat enter a dance competition which help Pat Sr. win some money from a friend.
            This is one of those films where even the smallest extra was cast perfectly. Jennifer Lawrence is the movie. I cannot gush enough over her and her brilliance in the role. I can see why Lawrence has been winning so many awards for this movie and she deserves every single win and nomination. From the moment Lawrence comes on screen she commands your attention and keeps it. If there is a scene that is shown for her nominations it is the scene where she yells at De Niro’s character. Lawrence just yells at this iconic actor (of course I know it they are playing characters) and keeps her cool the whole time. After Tiffany is done with her yelling she nonchalantly picks up a beer bottle and drinks the beer. You have to see the scene to understand why Jennifer Lawrence was so amazing. I have been done sitting through the movie for half an hour now and I am still floored by Jennifer Lawrence’s performance. Bradley Cooper is so good. With every movie he makes he just gets better and better. I have been a fan of his since he played Will Tippin on Alias… I think I always mention that but I have to I have to show how back my love for him goes because he is that good and has been for that long. I think I may be jealous that Jennifer Lawrence got to hook up with Bradley Cooper in this movie because I kept thinking of their age difference and it bothered me. She is two years younger than me… yes I am extremely jealous of her at the moment! I do not think Cooper and Lawrence had good chemistry in this movie. They looked great together but I think maybe their non-chemistry might have been part of their characters.
              De Niro was good. He played a father wanting to do what he thought was right for his sick son and honestly Pat Sr. was doing a lousy job. If anything he pushed his son away. You can see the anguish and wanting to help on De Niro’s face, that is De Niro and that is one of the reasons why he is one of the greatest actors ever. Julia Stiles is in the movie for a few minutes as Veronica. She looked great. Stiles was not in the movie for very long to say much more about her.
            Silver Linings Playbook was very good. The story has a lot of heart to it and it really makes you feel for the characters and makes them likable. As someone who has gone through some mental health issues (nothing at all as extreme as Pat’s issues) I felt bad seeing Pat’s parents and his brother just wanting him to get better because that is how my family has been for me. It was painful to go through what I went through and I am sure it was even more painful for my parents to see me go through everything. I wanted to yell at Pat that his parents are just trying to help him and to take his damn medication even if they make you feel like crap. I enjoyed sitting through Silver Linings Playbook. It was different than all the usual garbage that has been released lately. I highly recommend seeing Silver Linings Playbook it was perfectly acted, written, cast, and directed.