Excelsior! …But only if you say it like Stan Lee.
Some of my most favourite films deal with people and their psychological disorders. Garden State is a film that shaped the person I am today; and it isn’t a stretch for me to say that maybe everyone can see a bit of themselves in characters like these. Silver Linings Playbook shouldn’t even be seen as a romantic-comedy, but more of a story of personal victory. It is man vs himself if we were to speak in film school jargon.
Silver Linings Playbook is written & directed by David O. Russel (The Fighter) and is based off of the 2008 novel “The Silver Linings Playbook.” This flick also stars Bradley “Call me Coop” Cooper, Jennifer “Can’t wait to see her in the Mystique body paint again” Lawrence, Bobby “I’m talking to you” De Niro, Jacki “Leave it to” Weaver, Chris “Black don’t crack” Tucker, and some scenes with Julia “Used to dance a lot” Stiles.
SLP (‘cuz I’m cool like that) follows Patrick Solitano (Cooper) as he’s released from a mental institution after eight months of mental rehabilitation following some traumatic event with his wife. During his initial interactions with his friends and family we learn that he plans on trying to get back with Nicole, his estranged wife. He gets invited to a supper at his friend’s house where he meets Tiffany (Lawrence;) a widow with almost as much emotional bagage as Solitano. Together, albet unwillingly at first they interact to help each other out with their respective situations.
– The acting. Holy crab cakes Batman. Chris Tucker could not have been surrounded by a better cast. Hell they made him look like an Oscar-caliber level thespian. De Niro plays the role of the OCD-bookie-father-Eagles fan as if it were a “true” reality show. I mean every time he was on screen I just felt sorry and happy for the guy in some sort of emo-tornado. I could go on about all the actors but this would be a very long post and I would run out of adjectives and just start typing “screw Flanders” over and over and over.
– The soundtrack. Move over Garden State AND Almost Famous. You have Danny Elfman taking care of the score and then you slap on Stevie Wonder, alt-J, and Rare Earth just to name a few without checking wikipedia. I mean f*ck Juno with it’s poppy-quirky soundtrack. This is a film with songs that aren’t there to be indy, but to compliment the emotion and acting.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
– The Pacing. I’ll admit that a few minutes could have been trimmed at several points through this flick. But the moment the camera pans over a face or someone opens their mouth, you get pulled back into the story and just keep going. (editor’s note: that also sounds like someone describing a porn.)
Silver Linings Playbook has gotten a many Oscar nods this year and it’s due. This flick just draws you in and tells a story about people; about one’s battle with emotions and how we all may have trouble reading them or dealing with them. Emotional/mental disorders don’t mean we are doomed to a life of white walls, because if that were true the only people not locked up would be high-functioning psychopaths with a crazy ability to hide their shit well. SLP is truly fantastic in the sense that it makes you question your own little quirks and helps you examine your life. Because of that, Silver Linings Playbook is Verified Awesome!