I’m so curious with this film because from its outlook, it doesn’t offer something promising that worth a bunch of nominations of Golden Globe or Oscar. It seems like another rom-com, except that it contains a good cast and a well-acclaimed director. “Silver Linings Playbook” is one of the contenders of this year’s Academy Award’s Best Picture, and before watching it, I erased all the Golden Globe and Oscar buzz in my mind so I could see it as it purely is. Then, we will examine if it really worth its acclaim.
“Silver Linings Playbook” was adapted from a novel written by Matthew Quick. It centers on a character named Pat Solitano Jr. (played by Bradley Cooper), who was just released from a mental institution due to his bipolar disorder. Reuniting back with his mom, Dolores (played by Jacki Weaver) and his dad, Pat Solitano Sr. (played by Robert De Niro), Pat tried to reconcile with his ex-wife, Nikki (played by Brea Bee). But, things went out of control after he met Tiffany (played by Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with her own psychological disorder.
In brief, “Silver Linings Playbook” is about a psychologically-disturbed man met a psychologically-disturbed woman. Sounds funny, eh? Yeah, there are a lot of psychological disorder in “Silver Linings Playbook” besides what Pat and Tiffany suffered from. Pat Sr, for example, is a maniac of a local football team, ready to bet everything for his favorite team to win, and was restricted to watch football game in local stadium due to previous messed-up things that he did with other supporters (and I think it is one kind of psychological problems), while Dolores was seemed very depressed with his family (as she was dealing with two persons with their own psychological problems: his husband and his son) and I guess she could suffer from another kind of psychological problem. Haha. Well, that’s what “Silver Linings Playbook” offer. A new topic for such a rom-com? Maybe. But, after finished watching it, I hardly got anything special and noticeable from “Silver Linings Playbook” that makes it different from any other rom-com. Or, maybe, “Silver Linings Playbook” has a balanced amount of romance and comedy, and that could be a good reason to see it more than just a rom-com. It’s a successful rom-com, actually. It has its emotion, it has its feeling, and it contains lots of fun. The comedy part mostly comes from all the psychologically-disturbed characters in this film. It is just funny seeing them arguing about even a simple thing, haha. The dialogue was very supportive to bring a sense of humor, so that “Silver Linings Playbook” didn’t went too romantic and heart-warming. Like I said previously, it has a good balance of romance and comedy, and both parts melt into a good composition so that they can’t be seen separately.
Of course, besides the dialogues, “Silver Linings Playbook” was supported by a good cast. Bradley Cooper as Pat Jr. could portray a good character with all his fast-paced dialogues, although I think he was a little bit unable to play with the dynamic change of emotion that Pat did. I don’t know if a man with bipolar disorder always seems like that or if it’s just Bradley who couldn’t act well, that I found some parts where this guy looked a little bit unnatural with his emotion. I think, Jennifer Lawrence did a better job with her character. With the psychological disorder that Tiffany suffered, Jennifer could portray a wild, grumpy woman who had a weird problem facing with opposite sex. Besides of her nice look (:D), Jennifer turned Tiffany into a woman that you won’t try to be dealing with. However, both Jennifer and Bradley could melt into a nice chemistry that sometimes went a little bit too romantic but mostly comedic. Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver did a good job very their own roles, although my attention is addressed more to Jacki Weaver for portraying a relented wife like Dolores (and I had a sympathy for her, too, as she silently seemed depressed with her troublesome husband and son, haha). Maybe if David O. Russell prepared a more well-known actress for cameo-ing Nikki, it would be surprising because as Nikki was always mentioned and talked about during the whole duration, her appearance in the ending would be an attention-stealer. A nice camera work and good supporting music became another addition value for “Silver Linings Playbook” for it successfully made a certain emotional situation for the viewers.
Finally, back to our initial question: does it really worth its buzz? Well, you may have concluded that “Silver Linings Playbook” is not a bad film. It is sweet, funny, romantic, different, somewhat cliche, and entertaining. With a good package of cast, “Silver Linings Playbook” level itself up from just being another romantic-comedy film. But, to mention it as one of this year’s Academy Award’s Best Picture contenders maybe an exaggeration. Well, actually I prefer “Moonrise Kingdom” to “Silver Linings Playbook” in the Best Picture nomination list. I agree if the actors and actresses deserve accolades but “Silver Linings Playbook” itself is just too overrated to get its position in the Best Picture nomination list.
▲ Jennifer Lawrence, a good proportion of comedy and romance
▼ Some unnatural act of Bradley Cooper, didn't worth its buzz
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK | COUNTRY USA YEAR 2012 RATING Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity RUNTIME 122 min GENRE Comedy, Drama, Romance CAST Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker WRITER David O. Russell (screenplay), Matthew Quick (novel) DIRECTOR David O. Russell IMDB RATING 8.2/10 (Top 250 #229) METACRITIC 81/100 (Universal Acclaim) ROTTEN TOMATOES 91% (Certified Fresh) MORE INFO