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The Silver Lining Playbook (2012) Reviewed By Jay

United States, 17 September 2012

 

Jay´s Review

On temporary leave from a mental institution, our bi-polar hero is frantic to reconcile with his ex, but his parents, who have signed for custody and are on the hook for his behavior, are understandably worried. Particularly when he seems to be interacting with a troubled young widow who is no more predictable than he.

In this engaging dramedy, we see a plot painted with broad strokes, but delivered by a cast capable of great skill and subtlety:

  • Bradley Cooper ("The Words") is Pat, absolutely convinced that only one "incident" caused his problem and it can easily be explained. Of course what he views as "normal" might be the issue here...that plus the restraining order his ex-wife has filed.
  • Jennifer Lawrence ("Hunger Games") is Tiffany, a recent acquaintance with a questionable past, but it too, can easily be explained. She's still working her way toward "normal."
  • Robert De Niro ("Limitless") is Pat Sr., a cantankerous, controlling, obsessive compulsive, who wants to open a restaurant, but is willing to wager that his son won't let him down. From him we get a lot of insight intothe family dynamics and what is considered "normal."
  • Jacki Weaver ("The Five-Year Engagement") is Delores, the long-suffering wife and mother of our two favorite odd-balls. Chaos is "normal" for her.
  • Anupam Kher ("Bend it Like Beckham") is Dr. Cliff Patel, our hero's therapist...  and a sports fan! He's still trying to define "normal."
  • Chris Tucker (the "Rush Hour" franchise) is Danny, escape artist par excellence! He met our hero in the mental institution; Danny may be crazy, but he's not dumb!

It is disconcerting to see a person deliberately refuse his medications, so I had a lot of misgivings about a movie that seems to endorse that behavior. On the other hand, we could see that the ADD apple didn't fall very far from the tree. I can only say that our hero's mother deserves to have her ample chest covered with medals!

In this R-rated film, expect lots of profanity, a glimpse of (maybe) nudity, no sweaty bodies, no gunshots and no blowie uppie stuff (except tempers, e.g., watch our hero when he finishes Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms!). Also expect to have people to root for, and an improbable bet that features a point spread.

Let me add that this movie includes the most memorable "lift" since "Dirty Dancing."

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