|Posted by jesskroll on January 18, 2013 at 8:10 PM|
Silver Linings Playbook, 2012
4.5 / 5
Too often the romantic comedy formula is fetishized into cloying, unwatchable dreck where pretty, successful people with severe, undiagnosed psychological disorders endure fabricated obstacles before an unearned happy ending. Silver Linings Playbook is an exquisitely rare film – a watchable romantic comedy where its leads’ psychoses are defined (including extreme sports obsession). Granted its treatment of mental illness, beginning with serious and surprisingly intense outbursts, glosses with forgiveness and dance, yet the central story of unbalanced individuals finding each other to lean on is one of the oldest and most difficult to successfully accomplish. The film works only through a restrained and naturalistic David O. Russell and a stellar cast from top (Jennifer Lawrence, best actress of her generation), to middle (Robert DeNiro, finally acting again) to bottom (Chris Tucker, limited but great) capturing every emotion and forming painful, redemptive relationships. Of course the film bottles into a neat little ending, prophesized by Cooper in a much needed tirade against literature’s most overrated writer, but after the authentic hurt the lead and his manic-depressive dream girl have suffered and caused; anything else would be cruel. At their best romantic comedies remind us that no matter who we are or what we’ve done, we can be happy with someone who not only accepts us but inspires us to be better, even if only for them. None of that Hemingway or Heigl crap.
Categories: 150 Reviews