Bradley Cooper is not only People Magazine’s “Sexiest Guy Alive” for 2012 along with playing in two of the highest grossing R rated comedies, “The Hangover” and “Hangover 2” but he was just nominated for a Golden Globe award as best actor in a movie for this film “Silver Linings Playbook” and, in all probability, will get an Oscar nomination though his competition there is fierce. His co-star, Jennifer Lawrence, was nominated for an Oscar in 2010 for “The Winter’s Bone”, was in the “X Men” in 2011 and became the highest grossing heroine in action films adding, and becoming a household name in 2012, after starring as Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games”. She was also recently nominated for a Golden Globe award for her performance in the “Silver Linings Playbook”.
Bradley is Pat, who we meet being picked up by his mother, Dolores, Jacki Weaver, from a mental institution where he was for 8 months after committing a violent act. In addition he is bipolar and feels he doesn’t need to take his medicine. His father Pat Sr., Robert De Niro, seems to be a little ‘off’ with his love for the Philadelphia Eagles and a restaurant owner who is also a bookie. Julie Stiles is Vernica, the bullying wife of Pat’s friend Ronnie, John Ortiz, and a friend of Nikki, Brea Bee, Pat’s estranged wife. It is Veronica who introduces Pat to Tiffany, Jennifer Lawrence, who might be as ‘crazy’ as Pat such as when they discuss what medicines they have taken and take.
The story revolves around Pat wanting his ex-wife back, Tiffany wanting to use Pat as a dance partner in a contest, Pat Sr using whatever good luck omens, including his son, to have the Eagles win games and everyone having a happy ending which is what the director and screenplay writer David O. Russell is aiming for.
It’s been awhile since De Niro had a chance to show the actor that he really is, and the versatility he has, with both drama and comedy. Jacki Weaver gives a sterling performance as the only ‘normal’ one in the film. Chris Tucker as a friend, and fellow inmate from the asylum, gives an effective performance while Julia Stiles is wasted. Anupam Kher, as Pat’s therapist, doesn’t feel/look comfortable in the comedy aspects of his role just as Dash Mihok as a police officer is too stiff in his role.
As most films today “Silver Linings Playbook” is too long by about 10 minutes and the whole Ernest Hemingway, though it does show an aspect of Pat, segment could easily be cut. The dance angle doesn’t come across as romantic as David O. Russell intended with no fault of Cooper and Lawrence, who have tremendous chemistry, though I hope Cooper is a better dancer than he shows in the film.
“Silver Linings Playbook” is not quite the romantic comedy that I was/am looking for but the performances by Cooper, Lawrence, Weaver and De Niro should be seen.