I had no idea what to expect from anything with the title, Silver Linings Playbook. There were enough stars in the movie to do a telethon: including Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence of Hunger Games fame, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker, and Robert De Niro ... but a powerful cast doesn't guarantee greatness. In fact, a person going into this film waiting to be swept away by pure star-power will be sorely disappointed.
This film soars based on the quirkiness of the story itself, adapted from Matthew Quick's novel of the same name, along with masterfully and subtly-nuanced performances from De Niro, Cooper, and Lawrence. There's so much to digest in this movie, it moves the audience along a roller-coaster of emotions, introspection and empathy that I haven't seen in a long time.
The story centers around Cooper's character, Pat, who comes back to his parent's home after discovering an affair with his wife and having a mental "snap" that leads to an eight-month stay in a mental hospital.
The audience gets to witness the ebbs and flow of Pat's relationship with his father, Pat Sr. (De Niro) and Tiffany (Lawrence), the widow and former girl-next-door, his friends Danny (Tucker) and Ronnie (John Ortiz). I ended up watching with such intensity it felt like being pulled into the film.
The web of relationships in Silver Linings is held tightly together with humor, and a crisp, witty dialogue that sets the tone for the film. This web coupled with intelligent direction by David O. Russell, should absolutely capture audiences and rack up box office receipts.
This may not be the typical title of your average blockbuster but with direction, storyline and performances like these, who needs 'em?