Review: Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

silver linings playbook poster

“Nikki’s waiting for me to get in shape and get my life back together. Then we’re going to be together.”
– Pat Solitano Jr

Pat Solitano, Jr (Bradley Cooper) is released from a mental hospital after serving eight months as was the minimum amount of time agreed upon by the courts. Pat was treated for bipolar disorder, something that was previously undiagnosed and something that irrevocably changed his life. He is released into the care of his mother Dolores (Jacki Weaver) and his father Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro), and moves in with them. Pat has changed his life and is eager to reconcile with his wife, Nikki, who is a big reason he ended up in the hospital. She cheated on him with a colleague, causing Pat to give the guilty man a terrible beating. He will hear nothing of the fact that his marriage is over. Pat learns his parents seem to be struggling financially a bit and that his father has turned to illegal bookmarking to get money together to open a restaurant.

silver linings playbook family

“Let me tell you, I know you don’t want to listen to your father, I didn’t listen to mine, and I am telling you you gotta pay attention this time.” – Pat Solitano Sr

Pat is upset about the restraining order that Nikki had taken out against him and that it is still in effect, though he is sure that he is getting his life together and that she will take him back when she realises this. Pat is seeing his court-mandated therapist Dr Patel (Anupam Kher), who is doing his utmost to help Pat out so that he will not be hospitalised again. Pat is getting to a better place in his life, and Patel sees this, though there are still issues that need to be worked out. Pat shares a lot with his therapist, including his new positive outlook on life, enshrined by the term “excelsior”. Pat is invited to dinner one night at his friend Ronnie (John Ortiz) and his wife Veronica (Julia Stiles). At dinner he meets Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence), Veronica’s widowed sister, whom he feels is completely socially stunted. The two seem to get along, especially when discussing medication, yet by the end of the night they are at extreme odds again, matters which are exacerbated by the fact that Pat turned down her offer of sex.

silver linings playbook letter

“I have a problem? You say more inappropriate things than appropriate things.” – Tiffany Maxwell

Soon, though, Tiffany starts popping up everywhere and is relentless. Pat gets over thinking of her as a slut and thinking of her as a useful tool to get in touch with Nikki again. Naturally, it is a quid pro quo relationship, and Tiffany has Pat promise that he will participate in an upcoming dance competition with her. As reluctant as he is, he finally agrees to do it. Pat is sure that the competition will be the thing to show Nikki that he is a changed man and that they have a chance. Pat Sr. on the other hand is angry that his son is always out and about with Tiffany. Pat Sr. wants Pat at home, he is convinced that Pat is his lucky charm to get the Philadelphia Eagles to win their games. Pat is torn in two directions, and soon discovers that he likes Tiffany more than he should, and she is most certainly interested in him, crushed that he cannot see her through his obsession with a cheating woman who does not deserve him.

silver linings playbook dance lessons

“This is what I learned at the hospital. You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, you have a shot at a silver lining.” – Pat Solitano Jr

Pat Sr. has Pat attend a Philadelphia Eagles game, meaning Pat will miss his dance practise with Tiffany, and being there will win his dad the game he bet basically all their money on. Instead Pat and his brother Jake (Shea Whigham) get into a fight along with Dr Patel, and the Eagles lose the game. Tiffany is outraged that Pat made a commitment and didn’t stick to it, and Pat Sr. is in a state over losing all his money. To even things out Randy (Paul Herman) and Pat Sr. make a parlay with one another: the Eagles will win and Tiffany and Pat will score at least a 5 in their upcoming dance competition. Will Pat Sr. win the money back that he needs for the restaurant? Will Tiffany and Pat be able to work through their silly drama? Will they be able to score the 5 to make the parlay a winner for Pat Sr.? Will Nikki and Pat be able to reconcile now that Pat has turned his whole life around? Will Pat ever fully be in control of his problems?

A 7/10 for Silver Linings Playbook. I have never actually just gotten to this movie, despite how popular it got, despite how much it is recommended to me, none of it. Eventually, though, as always, I got to it. I had a good time with this movie, it really had me smiling and laughing with it. For one, Jennifer Lawrence completely stole the show for me, and was certainly worth her Oscar win. She was absolutely crazy yet adorable at the same time. She was intelligent and funny but not even remotely normal, and it worked. Bradley Cooper was fantastic, and the chemistry that he and Lawrence shared was just brilliant, and they complemented each other so well. I know this sounds crazy, but I knew almost nothing about this movie going in, and I liked the fact that I was not really aware of what was to come. There was plenty to laugh at, and plenty that brought it down to a more serious tone. De Niro was very good here, and it was nice to see him with a better role than usual nowadays. Jacki Weaver was so well cast as Dolores Solitano, she just worked the mother well. She was timid yet supportive, shy yet loving; she managed to balance out her husband just well. Pat Solitano, Sr. was terribly entertaining, the way that his allegiances just flicked around. Chris Tucker provided some smiles with his strange personality and funny friendship with Pat. I must say that this was a good movie, a bit soppy at times but heartwarming nonetheless and flawed , no doubt, but definitely worth checking out, even if only for Lawrence’s performance.

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42 thoughts on “Review: Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

    • Zoë says:

      Agree with you there! Good but not great, not as it was hailed! He was very good, entertaining!

      Me? I have been on leave since last Wednesday but I am back today!

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  1. Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop says:

    I loved this, thought it was brilliant. Brilliant performances all round and even though it was a bit predictable in the end, I think the film had done plenty of good by that point not for that to spoil it. And if that’s how the book ends, then they’re kinda tied into that.

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    • Zoë says:

      The performances were definitely worth watching, I must admit. I laughed a hell of a lot, especially at Copper and Lawrence when they were together. I was not aware there was a book on it, though I am not sure that I will be reading it! I actually enjoyed the end, predictable as it was and all.

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  2. elina says:

    I didn’t get this film at all when I first watched it. A year later, I watched it again, just in case, and that time — WOW. Such a great film with awesome performances by Lawrence and Cooper — and their chemistry was simply tangible! Great review, Zoë 🙂

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  3. CMrok93 says:

    Okay, I love this for many reasons. But the main one is probably that it was filmed right outside of my neighborhood on more than a few occasions. I’m sorry. I’m just a dedicated Philadelphian! Nice review Zoe.

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  4. ruth says:

    I was already a fan of Lawrence when I saw this but was truly impressed by her work. Was it worthy of an Oscar? I don’t know but I guess it’s worthy of a nomination. As far as Bradley Cooper though, his performance here made me think he’s quite a good actor. Before that I thought of him as a pretty boy. Great review Zoe!!

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    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Ruth! I don’t know, she impressed the hell out of me in here! Ah, I enjoy Cooper. He has some hit and miss ones, but overall I like him! 🙂

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  5. caragale says:

    Nice job, lady! I really enjoy this one–more so than American Hustle actually. Not perfect (particularly the end, which feels a little too rushed for me), but very fun. And yeah don’t Lawrence and Cooper make the best team? I know David O. Russell is planning at least one–maybe two more films with them together, and I am completely cool with that. 🙂

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    • Zoë says:

      Thank you. Well… that is not difficult to believe! They are so damn believable together, totally cracked! Well, they worked really well there, so I can understand!

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  6. Satua says:

    David O. Russell is genious when it comes to picking his actors. All of the roles are so well casted in this one. Like in American Hustle and The Fighter too. I like this film a lot. I gave it 8/10 when I saw it and I watched again about half a year ago and it was still worth of that grade. Great review!

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    • Zoë says:

      Thanks a lot! I am going to get to The Fighter. I was not a fan of American Hustle though, but the cast was great and their performances were solid. This was pretty good!

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