Silver Linings Playbook Review

Director: David O. Russell
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Chris Tucker
Also Starring: Jacki Weaver, Anupam Kher, Julia Stiles.
Rating: 15


Pat (Cooper) has spent the past eight months in a Mental Institute, but it's time for life to get back to the way it was, and it will because Pat believes in silver linings and happy endings.But, Pat is about to (re)discover that life doesn't always go as planned, and the arrival of wayward widow Tiffany (Lawrence), into his life, is really going to change things.

Based on the novel by Matthew Quick, I had high expectations for this film starring two of the greatest rising stars (Cooper and Lawrence), but that underlying worry that it would be a classic case of "the book is better than the film", that is evident in so many adaptations of books.

The film started out fairly slowly, that actually resulted in three people walking out, but I think that if they'd have stuck the film out, they'd have realised what an absolute gem this film is. Yes, it did take a while to get good, but fortunately, I was awaiting the arrival of Lawrence's character, and I wasn't wrong, because as soon as she arrives Lawrence instantly lit up the screen with her biting cynicism and charm. The chemistry between between Cooper and Lawrence was electrifiying, and their odd friendship warming.

The friendship, and budding romance, between Pat and Tiffany showed that just because you have a quirk, a mental illness or anything else that makes you "not normal" in the eyes of society, does not mean that you can't - or won't - find love.

It's really difficult to even begin to compare this to the book, because Russell - who not only directed this film, but also wrote the screenplay - has completely changed it, and I think that this was the right to do, purely because it worked perfectly. Okay, so at times it felt like the plot "may" have been written with the intention of increasing the roles for actors Robert DeNiro and Chris Tucker, but to be honest, I think that it was needed to help to piece areas together, in a way that the novel sort of lacks. For that reason, I really do think that this is a - rather unusual - case of the film actually being better than the book!

Watch Silver Linings Playbook if you are looking for:

  • A romance that is accessible to men, just as much as women.
  • Superb performances from all involved, but especially it's leading stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence
  • A comedy-drama that is quirky, off beat and doesn't follow the "norms" of a traditional rom-com
  • heart-warming tale of two people just trying to survive in a world that doesn't understand them


9 out of 10

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