22 November 2012 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

It may be more rom and less com, but David O Russell's quirky film about mental illness is surefooted and amusing

There is no one more conspicuously qualified to do wacky-crazy-modern than David O Russell, the famously temperamental film-maker behind that interesting, strange and strangely interesting comedy I Heart Huckabees, the mention of which still gets critics reliably hotter under the collar than almost any other film. Russell's latest movie is an offbeat, quirky-sentimental romcom, with mental illness as its self-consciously bizarre premise, based on the 2008 novel by Matthew Quick. Watching it is like seeing an alternative version of Russell's famous YouTube screaming match with Lily Tomlin, in which the pair spar verbally for a bit and then hug it out.

It has to be said that the film promises a fair bit more than it delivers in the way of edgy stuff about psychological breakdown. Silver Linings Playbook stays »

- Peter Bradshaw

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