Two people can come together under many circumstances. A date, a blind date, the internet, a coffee shop; these are all places where you might meet someone who you fall in love with. Discussing the different medications one might take for mental illness is not on my list of super romantic places. But what if there were extenuating circumstances? What if someone cheated on you or died? Life doesn’t always deal the fairest hand, but the hand we are given is the one we must play.
Pat (Bradley Cooper) has just come from a stay at the hospital. His wounds are nearly nine months old but still fresh and painful. Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) was married and left alone after one of fate’s decisions that nobody quite understands. When Pat moves home with his parents, he is faced with the difficulties of his delusions and anxiety. Dolores (Jacki Weaver) and Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) reopen their home to Pat when he comes home, only to discover that his demons are far from gone.
Pat struggles to get by day-to-day waiting for his wife, Nikki, to come around to the realization that she still loves him. Tiffany struggles day-to-day with… everything. Life is impossible to live when a person believes that the world is casting them in a certain light.
Things seem like they won’t get any better, but as usual, divine intervention steps in to lead two troubled souls in the right direction.
Silver Linings Playbook not only had a dynamite cast, but a cast that performed well. Nobody had to carry anyone else. Bradley Cooper, who I didn’t like until I saw Valentine’s Day, which I hated, is outstanding. He is honest and stripped of whatever image he may have carried from previous roles. Jennifer Lawrence is going to chew Hollywood up and spit it out. She is silly and brilliant and simply spectacular. A woman suffering a terrible loss will act out. As Tiffany, she does so appropriately, but she will also make the viewer uncomfortable in a delightful way.
This is a story about love and imbalance. The bond Pat shares with his parents is strained and unpredictable but also endearing. As much as he puts them through, they fight for him. His tie to Tiffany is undeniable. The chemistry is off the charts and makes the audience believe that for once, maybe something can go right for these two lost souls.
When one experiences something that changes them forever, it is unthinkable to get back to the person they were before that happened. All we can do is move forward and hope that life will move with us. Silver Linings Playbook holds that dearly and allows us to believe that even though something profound has driven us down a path we never wanted to embark on in the first place, a silver lining can be found in the mess and we can find true happiness. It may not be perfect, but it’s a start.