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I had to watch this film twice in a row to try and understand (and I'm still lost) as to where the hype, and the endless award nominations came from. Maybe without all the hype I would have been less disappointed, but it's still, to me, a film not worth watching. I was expecting it to be different from other typical American rom coms, but I was wrong. I haven't got anything against American rom coms, I just never really rate them highly. What made silver linings especially disappointing for me is that the portrayal of mental illness (which was the part of the story that made me want to see it) was awful. Whether it be bad acting or a poor narrative, but without the talk of mental illness, I wouldn't have even been aware that mental illness existed in the movie. You'd honestly just think the characters had poor social skills or maybe some milder form of a learning disability, such as asbergers, but certainly not bi-polar or any other serious mental health conditions. And this makes me really wonder where the Oscar nominations came from? I've never been more puzzled? Don't get lost in the hype, the film was extremely average, along with the acting.
This movie left me wondering if, toward the end, all the characters
would sit Bradley down and reveal some elaborate scheme they had
ingeniously devised so that, ultimately, they would set him on the path
towards sanity--AND to explain to the viewer why reality had seemed so
warped in the movie up to that point...or SOMETHING that could
demystify how every character acts like they need to be heavily
I have a few minor issues with this movie:
~The story line has little coherency. ~Each character is incredibly-emotionally invested in the most trivial of matters. ~In every scenario each character behaves as if this is how people regularly interact and communicate with each other...well, minus Bradley and Jennifer...and Chris Tucker...and Bradley's Dad...and Bradley's friend Pat...
Okay, so I guess this movie says crazy people tend to cluster together, even outside of an institution. That's all I could come up with.
Nonetheless, I give this a 6 out of 10 because, aside from the plot that leaves the sane baffled, the actors' performances are hugely entertaining. It's like a piece of modern art you see in a museum that catches your eye enough that you stop and stare for awhile; however, if you were asked to evaluate the artist, you couldn't bring yourself to regard it too highly because you know it's just a painting of random splotches and gravity at work (no paintbrush required).
I was also so excited about seeing this film. I read the book and loved it so I had high expectations for the film. When I watched the film I was so disappointed with the whole thing. What was the point off changing the story? The book was excellent. The dad's not supposed to talk to Pat. The dad's supposed to treat the mum really badly. What about the time problem, where Pat thinks he's been gone for a couple of months though t had been 4 years? That was a huge part of the story just left out! Also Nikki's not supposed to be part of the plan. And why does Danny keep getting out of the "bad place" . Also there dance is supposed to be amazing and be against kids without scoring. Etc... why change a great story and make a such a rubbish film. The few stars I gave it are for the acting.
As a saying goes when the door is shut, god opens a window. Yeah we all
had out down points in life, however the truth about life is it's most
of the time a matter of how you get back up from troubled circumstances
is what counts. This is one of those romance stories I really like
because like any plan in football that works it runs toward the goal
With any good romance stories and dramas this film has characters that I actually care about and really like. But also really love the quarky, bizarre yet down to earth nature of the film.
The dialog in this film is great, it is at times a little strange and humorous but I feel that's what makes the characters seem more human. It really felt like I was hearing people talking and not just fictional characters.
Pat is played well by Bradley Cooper this is probably my favorite role from him for now. Pat is a broken guy you really feel pathos for. The legal and psychological troubles he's been though, sure what it did isn't completely right, but the guy he beat up wasn't innocent; along with a painful divorce. I like how his aggressive attitude toward things which is not just a psychological problem but a quark. One really funny scene is when he does a rant on a Ernest Heminway book which he literally throws out the window, it's funny because he kinda makes a point. He wants to rejoin life again but the problem is he's calling the wrong play.
I really like how the film at times has some really intense scenes. Like one where Pat was acting out a bit from the fact he couldn't find the wedding video, you can't help but feel for the guy as he has both anger and sadness combined, the fact that the wedding video is gone reflects the life he can't get back because to him that was the only times of happiness. But I really like the humanity of his character, whenever he feels he letting people down whether it's his mom, dad, or Tiffany he feels awful about it and himself; I feel it shows he's not a selfish person he really does care about other people and letting them down is the last thing he wants.
However my favorite character in the film is Tiffany, played brilliantly by Jennifer Laurence whom I think is kinda hot and a more than capable actress. Her character reminds me a little of April Ludgate from "Parks and Recreation" whom is also a little similar. I really love how fiery, feisty, energetic, a little bizarre, dark, she has charisma which is black, quarky, or clever. However the best thing about her to me is the fact that she accepts that she's not perfect she has her psychological troubles but she accepts them. She also a character you feel pathos for since like with Pat had to endure a loss, with her though it was the loss of her husband. I like that she's is ambitious in a way, she loves dancing and wants to be a champion but also doesn't want to be alone wants someone in her life again.
You already know in the film both really are a good match for one another. Both are somewhat the same, like with Pat she's also has aggression in an intense scene in the restaurant just seeing her exercise it makes me feel she might be more aggressive than Pat. Both are broken and are trying to get their lives back together as well have more in their life that they haven't had. And the chemistry between them is great I really love the banter between them, there are sparks whether they know it or not, and they support one another in a way; heck both of them dance well together so that ought to say something.
And you want both of them together but not just yet because like with any good romance story I feel one or both have to earn it first. And both do, in a way the film is a bit like a Howard Hawks film, as the film goes on both characters grow, Pat becomes more of a man and Tiffany more of a woman. And as that happens both start connecting, say things they probably never said to anyone else.
However this I don't think is just a romance about two people but it's also about love for family.
The supporting characters are also really good each with quarks and trouble of their own. Robert De Nero as Pat Sr I thought was great, just like his son he's psychologically troubled. And just like his son has a humanity, really like this one touching moment when he has a talk down with Pat and admits he hasn't been the best father. And we see in the film both of them also start growing closer becoming in touch with one another again.
I've said enough, Silver Linings Playbook is a touchdown.
Rating: 4 stars
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'You need a strategy!' is the advice that Pat's therapist gives him to
master his bipolar disorder and the violent outbursts that come with
it. This is good advice, and something that the writer/director should
have taken himself, as it seems to be the thing this movie lacks.
First, this is not a comedy. There are no jokes,no humorous situations, and the witty quips are seldom spot on. The movie unfolds as a dramatic story of a psychiatric patient's reintegration in society after his treatment. A valuable cause that is played out pleasurably understated, and confronts the audience with the tension between theory and practice, and how families and patients cope. It helps that Pat is played by the hunky Bradley Cooper who oozes good will, for some decisions Pat makes border on dangerous ground.
Enter Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany, a fellow patient, struggling with the loss of her husband; okay, two people in their craziness against the world, that is a theme. But just as the movie lingers on, seemingly about the daily life of these people and their families, we are confronted with some sidelines, and without a warning we are just a few plot twists away from a dance therapy center for troubled youth, and could the movie be renamed Step Up 5 or Dirty Dancing 3.
Then we get the relapse (on a very sunny and warm day for December), and a crazy bet that is such an obvious plot device to 'wrap it all up' that the rest of the movie is as predictable as it gets, abandoning the theme, changing from perspective (to Tiffany's) and all secondary characters join in the victory and the get together of the two leads, when suddenly it is suggested that Tiffany wasn't crazy at all and just played crazy to gain Pat's trust to get closer to him. Oh what?
It unnerves me that Jennifer Lawrence has received an Academy Award for this role of a crazy, non-crazy, lying, non-lying woman, so very unsympathetic and so badly written. Robert de Niro displays all the laziness he gets away with, culminating in an atrociously acted angry scene, exemplary for first year drama students. Cooper forgets in the last quarter of the film that he is a psychiatric patient, becoming the sensible, down to earth, perfect specimen of a man as by magic.
Not a comedy, not a drama and certainly not a dance movie (with such an important dancing scene one would hope they hired actors who could actually dance a little bit and not strut around like vegetables on sleeping meds). A very mediocre effort on all accounts.
The story takes a long and circuitous path to get to the predictable ending. Wished I had watched it on DVD so that I could have fast forwarded to shorten by at least 50%. Why Jennifer Lawrence got her Oscar on the strength of this film/performance above other contenders is a total mystery. If this is a story about someone recovering from a mental condition then that seems to take second place to the predictable story line about boy meets girl/ they both have issues/they sort out the issues and live happy ever after (as does every one else in the movie) The secondary story line about father's (Robert de Niro) gambling only serves to add to the predictability of the ending. If this is supposed to be a 'feel good movie' it certainly did not work for me
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Wow! The people who rated the movie so highly must have not read the
book. I must say I was so disappointed by this movie. It didn't respect
the book at all. I mean, I know that every screenwriter has his own
vision of the book, but come on people, this is just too much. I
couldn't wait to see the movie after I read the book and when I did...I
couldn't believe that he completely change it. I loved the book, it was
much more intense than the movie. He only finds out in the end the
reason why he was in the mental institution (in the book), which kept
me so interested, and whether it was really Nikki writing him the
letters or Tiffany, and if it were Nikki, would she have met him for
closure? Even his name is changed, from Pat Peoples...to Pat whatever.
Oh, so many things... too many things to be said about this great book.
I would have loved to see this movie with (more) excitement if it would
have respected the story more.
Such a big disappointment...
Mrs. Dolores Solano (Jacki Weaver) brings her son Pat Solano (Bradley
Cooper) back home in Philadelphia from the Karel Psychiatric Facility,
in Baltimore. Pat had been interned for almost nine months diagnosed
with bipolar disorder after finding his wife Nikki (Brea Bee) cheating
on him with her lover in their home.
Pat is still in love with Nikki, but he can not get close to her since she has a restraining order against him. Pat has to go to therapy sessions and he jogs expecting to keep his shape, and his father (Robert De Niro) believes that he is a quitter.
When Pat meets the widow Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), he finds that she is an unbalanced girl. Tiffany and her sister Veronica (Julia Stiles) are close to Nikki and she offers to deliver a letter from Pat to Nikki despite the restraining order. In return, he shall dance with her in a competition in the end of the year. Pat accepts the challenge and gets close to her training for the competition. On the day of the competition, Veronica unexpectedly brings Nikki to the theater, affecting Pat and Tiffany.
"Silver Linings Playbook" is a lovely cute movie that won 1 Oscar and was awarded with another 60 wins and 71 nominations. The gorgeous and sexy Jennifer Lawrence is wonderful and deserved the Oscar. The story is original and touching and I really loved this movie that is full of emotions, has great performances and direction, excellent screenplay and adorable characters. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "O Lado Bom da Vida" ("The Good Side of the Life")
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There is one adjective that describes this movie sufficiently:
immature. After I finished watching this failure of a movie
(inexplicably nominated for, and winning, lots of awards, including an
Oscar), I started exploring where the immaturity comes from. Yeah,
Jennifer Lawrence was very young when filming this, only 21, but she's
just an actress -- you can't blame her for the screenplay she had to
adhere to. The director and screenwriter is a 50-ish guy, too. So,
what's the answer? Ah yes, there it is: the original novel was a debut
novel by Matthew Quick, released when the writer was just 32 years old.
Oh Lord, but it shows. (An interesting tidbit is how old-fashioned the
2012-released movie seems in extolling the "iPod": right, only a few
years later after the original story takes place in 2008, iPods seem
rather behind-the-times compared to iPhones and iPads.)
The movie is not just immature, but chock-full with every Hollywood cliché you can think of. Some of the scenes and dialogues are so predictable they're likely to force tears out of your eyes -- but not those of laughter or of being moved by the story. And then you learn that the Hollywood studio had bought the rights to film the novel even before the novel was *released* -- does more need to be said? This is "made-to-order" Hollywood fare -- and as a result, it's just as trashy as one might expect it to be. You can almost see the story's creator "listining" to an imagined audience: "What is it that the audience wants, what does it expect from me? Let's give it to the audience, then!" This is the exact reversal of the approach chosen by truly great works of art, where the paramount intention is not to give the audience what *they* want, but to express, as faithfully as possible, the artist's vision: what the artist feels needs to be said or shown about life, in his or her particular story.
I failed to get interested in any of the main characters in the movie. One is a mentally unhinged, alleged substitute high-school history teacher -- yet as such, he does not hesitate to recite an urban legend on the origin of the acronym "OK". Any *real* history teacher -- tenured or not -- would be unlikely to do that. It rather seemed as if this was the story's author trying to establish the character's professional credentials, but committing a guffaw instead, because an urban legend, in fact, devalues the alleged credentials, instead of confirming them.
There are many sex addicts in the world, recovering or not. Sorry, but although Jennifer Lawrence is undoubtedly an attractive actress, I did not find the character played by her one bit interesting. She's messed up, but so are millions of other people around the world -- why should we be interested in *this particular* messed-up sex addict? The same goes for her male counterpart. OK, so his wife cheated on him, and he beat her lover up to a bloody pulp, which probably isn't what a totally sane person would do. But, so what? It's happened before around the world, countless times. Why should the audience be interested in *this particular* cuckolded husband? Only because Bradley Cooper happens to be a handsome actor? The movie provides no answer, and because the two main characters are so uninteresting, the movie revolving around them is just as boring as they are.
I was also disturbed by the needless profanity pervading the movie. I don't mind profanity if it's justified by a movie's action or story, but here it seemed as if it was today's "expected standard" by the (youngish) audience, and *that's why* all the profanity was put in, just to appear "hip enough" -- not because the story or the dialogues truly demanded it.
I love movies transcending the boundaries of genres: there's nothing more sublime than a movie that is *both* a great comedy *and* a great drama at the same time, in one package. *That's* true art of movie-making. Yet this does not apply to _Silver Linings Playbook_: in fact, it suffers from the exact opposite flaw, in that it's neither a comedy, nor a drama, but rather a failure in both of those departments. It seems to vacillate on the border between comedy and drama, undecided where to go -- but it's too shallow to be a good drama, and too trite and predictable to be really funny. There's really very little to laugh or even smile about in _Silver Linings Playbook_. Instead, we're treated to some painfully extended scenes *meant* to be funny, which however are not: see all the betting hysteria going on in Pat's household, led by an over-the-top Robert De Niro.
What's worse, the movie presumes to close with the same sort of grand finale featured in many classic romantic comedies: with the heroine running away, and (ideally) the hero catching up with her. Think of _Bridget Jones's Diary_, or _The Apartment_, or _Gone with the Wind_. Now I feel guilty to mention all those phenomenally successful romantic movies in the same paragraph with _Silver Linings Playbook_ -- because the classic, romantic ending just doesn't work in _Silver Linings Playbook_, and rings hollow.
If you're looking for the top tell-tale sign of the movie's immature, juvenile nature, just watch the scene with the main character, Pat, ranting about one of the finest novels ever written, Hemingway's _A Farewell to Arms_. Erm, sorry, I still don't understand the meaning or intention of that scene. Was it meant to be funny, in showing how nonsensical Pat's objections to Hemingway's plot (and ending) were? Well, it *wasn't* funny. Or -- which is even worse -- was the scene meant to be serious, reflecting that that's what the author of _Silver Linings Playbook_ really thought about _A Farewell to Arms_? If so, you can't get any more immature than that.
First off, I'm 75 years old. Second, I know zero about the two leading performers, so they get no points from me for being "stars." Their performances were accomplished and subtle, but IMHO they were playing ugly characters: rude, vulgar, lots of foul language and bad behavior, mistreating and abusing each other. Maybe they were depicting a clinical condition accurately or brilliantly, but that ain't entertainment to me. I just feel offended and roughed up. Incidentally, I am an NFL fan and I think the characterizations in that department were surely intended as parody or farce, but if that's the case then that whole plot mechanism is out of sync with the rest of the film.
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