Printed April 26, 2013. Published version here.
Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro. These three names alone should be enough to tell you that “Silver Linings Playbook” is awesome. Yes, this acting trifecta certainly helps confirm this movie’s claim to greatness. It’s really not all about the cast, though. I swear.
That being said, Jennifer Lawrence triumphs for her role with wit and finesse. The Oscar it earned her was well-deserved and not just because everyone felt bad for her when she tripped.
She plays a widow named Tiffany who, donned in modern mourning clothes, acts as confident on the outside as she is crushed on the inside.
“Silver Linings Playbook” offers audiences a distinct blend of romance, drama and comedy that’s a far cry from typical rom-com material. The leading couple, should you care to call them that, comes to know each other through frank discussions of their various psychiatric conditions.
Mental health is a topic not often explored with such openness and humor in film — or in life — and “Silver Linings” handles it admirably.
Screenwriter/director David O. Russell balances the serious issues with dialogue full of quick quips, a whole lot of Eagles football, a Raisin-Bran date and, of course, a ballroom dancing competition. The film manages to be edgy without losing its heart. Some call it the rejuvenation of the romantic comedy.
I just call it genius.