Live by the Silver Linings Playbook?

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The Silver Linings Playbook, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, is a film that has won many awards, including a BAFTA, an Oscar and an Academy Award while being nominated for several others. While this is a film adaptation of a novel, I have yet to pick up the novel, so my review will not be all encompassing from that standpoint. Silver Linings Playbook follows Pat, Bradley Cooper’s character as his mother, against doctor’s orders, brings him home after a time in a mental institution. With an ex-wife he is trying to win back and a new girl, Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who not only battles her own demons but also wants to win Pat’s affections, life is more than difficult to handle at times.

While I’m certainly no expert on dealing with mental disorders, even I can tell that this film was written and performed beautifully. It’s always hard to get it just right, as sufferers from the same illness may have diverse reactions to the same situation, but in this case they went with it and made a killing. The actors, in addition, bring nuances to the film that might be lost in script form, but certainly bring it to life while watching it. I was drawn in and felt their tumultuous emotions during the two hours of film time.

As the movie progresses, you find yourself immersed in Pat’s new life and how he isn’t coping well; wanting to win his ex-wife back even though she has a restraining order against him. Until he is given something to focus on, encouraged and enforced by Tiffany, he has a hard time making his life into a functional, happy one. He learns, over the course of the movie, that what he thought he wanted and would make him happy once more and what actually makes him happy are two very different things. With this emotional turnabout, the audience is relieved to see him making a wonderful choice in order to continue his life without dwelling on the past and his stint in the mental institution.

While this film has an R rating and would not be suitable for minors due to some violence and mostly a lot of swearing, I would suggest it to anyone 16 and up, as long as they had a mature mindset. It’s a well-written, beautifully performed story about finding happiness and coping with your problems. I definitely don’t recommend this if you are looking for something more funny and romantic, although it is technically a rom-com; it’s a bit more on the serious and bittersweet side. Still, I give Silver Linings Playbook a 5/5 stars!