Somehow I managed to miss Silver Linings Playbook when it was in theatres and have managed to miss it since then even though I have owned it since August.  I feel really bad for that because this movie is really great.  It’s like a dramatic romantic comedy or something like that.

Essentially, Pat Solitano Jr. (Bradley Cooper) has recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and starts the film by being signed out of a mental hospital.  When he gets home his father, Pat Sr.  (Robert De Niro) is

And so it begins

And so it begins

surprised to see him since his mother Dolores (Jacki Weaver) signed him out without telling his father.  Still, they’re glad to have him back and simply want to keep him safe.  After a few days he meets up with his friend Ronnie (John Ortiz) who invites him to dinner.  While there he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), Ronnie’s wife’s sister.  She too is in therapy and prescribed medication, and while she never really says what it is all for she does let us know it is at least partly for her depression.

Alright, enough synopsis, I don’t want to give too much away.  After a while they become friends, mainly so Pat can get Tiffany to send a letter to Nikki, his wife, who has a restraining order on him.  This makes the movie somewhat depressing, because he can’t see there’s no hope for their marriage and in the meantime it is clear he should really just move on and be with Tiffany.  She makes it obvious it’s what she wants and she also understands Pat, despite his lack of a filter for when he constantly brings up her dead husband.  It’s not like she isn’t equally awkward and it’s rather funny when they both bicker about how out of place and crazy each other are.  They both want to be with someone and it takes them a while to figure out how to do so.  Tiffany relies on other people for temporary happiness but really she’s just pleasing them (keeping it PG here) and not herself.  There’s a wonderful scene when one such man comes to Tiffany’s parent’s house (she lives in the converted garage in the back) and Pat delivers a rather chivalrous speech (for lack of a better word) to him about how it is wrong to take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable state.  The best part is it’s in front of Tiffany’s parents, who are sick of these men coming around and at first believe Pat is one of these men, but they eventually come round and all is well.

It’s difficult to dislike either of them since they really are good people, just troubled.  They’re booth a bit out of control and they know it and they want to control it and they learn they can’t do it without each other.  Sure, they first bond over the various prescriptions they’re on or at least should be on but they eventually find they just make each other happy, and not the kind Pat thought he had with Nikki, which wasn’t really that good, but the kind they both always wanted.

He gets it

He gets it

But wait, I forgot the most important thing, the movie takes place in Philadelphia!  I absolutely love how the first time we see Pat’s father he is complaining about DeSean Jackson throwing the ball away at the one yard line.  As a lifelong Eagles fan it is something I’ll never forget and it was great to have that moment come up in a movie.  I will admit they went a bit overboard with the Eagles fan stereotype.  I have been going to the games for twelve years now and have never seen any sort of racial fight break out like in the movie.  As the years have gone on there have been substantially less fights and to be honest, last year was incredibly flat and this year didn’t pick up with fan morale until Foles got in there.  I guess maybe they wanted to try to bring back something from back when but it felt out of place and just kind of a lame way to start a conflict scene.  But it was cool to see people with Kolb jerseys on and having everyone make fun of the Cowboys fan throughout the movie.

Anyway, back to the actual movie.  The ending is really fun and energetic and there’s a cute little scene rewarding us for rooting for Pat and Tiffany.  It’s not a profound movie or anything and I have no idea how accurate the portrayals of bipolar and depression are in the movie, but then I’m not looking at this to be that sort of movie, it’s more or less just there to allow the characters to be appropriately awkward and vulnerable.  They’re good people that are rough around the edges and we can like them for that because doesn’t that describe most people?  Tiffany says how they’re true people that don’t hide who they are and it’s that honesty which makes them and the movie so likable.

Advertisements