Silver Linings Playbook was nominated for over 100 awards and won a total of 92. That alone was what made me want to see what this film was all about. That, and the few people I know who have seen it all had good things to say.
This is a story about Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), who was a substitute teacher for the local High School. Upon leaving work early one day, he comes home to find his wife in the shower, with another man. After beating this man pretty badly, he is sentenced to eight months in a mental hospital where he is diagnosed with Bio Polar Disorder. He is also given a restraining order by his wife.
After his eight months are up, his mother signs him out against the doctors wishes. Once he is home, he seems very dedicated to getting his life back on track, staying in shape, and proving to his wife that he is worthy of another chance. While he was away, he learns his father has lost his job and has been making money as a bookie. Desperate to keep his son out of trouble, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) tries his best to keep Pat in the house with him watching the sports games he has bet on. Which we find out later is also his way of trying to spend more time with his son. Something he feels he did not do growing up.
One day, while out running he runs into an old friend and is invited to dinner the following week. It is here that he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence). She was known for being promiscuous in the past but is now struggling with the fairly recent death of her husband. They seem to connect almost immediately, using their shared mental illnesses as a way to bond.
After a few awkward encounters while running, the two decide to get dinner. It is there that she agrees to get a letter to his wife for him. Deciding this cannot be a one way deal, she convinces him to dance with her in a competition. They spend the next few weeks preparing for the contest and growing closer by the day. Meanwhile, Pat Sr. loses a huge bet and blames it all on Tiffany and the fact that she has kept his son away from the family business. After explaining she is not the problem, there is another huge be placed and their dance competition is part of it.
Finally, at the competition, Pat sees his wife in the crowd. Seeing this as his opportunity to get her back, he gives it his all. I won’t tell you how it ends, but I will tell you what I thought.
First off, the dinner where they met was set up by Tiffany’s sister, Veronica (Julia Stiles). There is a conversation about Veronica hating Pat before the initial dinner invite, and even though they do not go into great detail, apparently she was not thrilled with him. Besides being friends with Pat’s wife, she is fully aware of his past, yet she seemingly set up this dinner so she could set him up with her sister? Doesn’t make too much sense to me really. Other than that, this film is pretty solid. Bradley Cooper plays his role as well as Jennifer Lawrence as far as portraying their illnesses. That, and it is nice to see Mr. De Niro not doing some weird hack comedy. Just saying.
If you haven’t seen this movie, it may not be all that it is hyped to be, but it is still definitely worth a watch.