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Against medical advice and without the knowledge of her husband Pat Solatano Sr., caring Dolores Solatano discharges her adult son, Pat Solatano Jr., from a Maryland mental health institution after his minimum eight month court ordered stint. The condition of the release includes Pat Jr. moving back in with his parents in their Philadelphia home. Although Pat Jr.'s institutionalization was due to him beating up the lover of his wife Nikki, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Nikki has since left him and has received a restraining order against him. Although he is on medication (which he doesn't take because of the way it makes him feel) and has mandatory therapy sessions, Pat Jr. feels like he can manage on the outside solely by healthy living and looking for the "silver linings" in his life. His goals are to get his old job back as a substitute teacher, but more importantly reunite with Nikki. He finds there are certain instances where he doesn't cope well, however no less so ...Written by
Silver Linings Playbook is a touching, moving love story about two damaged people who find love and try to get over their past trauma.
The big plus is that the film is a well acted ensemble piece. The negative is that it is never going to be a true portrayal of mental illness.
We meet Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) when his mother Dolores (Jacki Weaver) takes him away from a mental health hospital after eight months. The doctors do not think he is ready to be released and initially you think they are correct. Despite Pat's positive outlook he is still affected by the memories of his disintegrating marriage. He found his wife in the shower with her lover who he then beat up. Pat was hospitalised as part of his plea bargain. A certain Stevie Wonder song still sets him off.
His father Patrizio (Robert De Niro) himself has some OCD, he is gambling in order to buy a restaurant. Despite hitting rock bottom, a friend introduces Pat to a widow Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence.) Tiffany married young and her husband who was a cop died young. She is volatile, depressed and is dealing with her pain by having frequent casual sex. It starts off well with a discussion on various medications they have been prescribed.
Both begin an acerbic relationship, which becomes tender as they practice for a dance contest. Pat still needs to come to terms with his relationship with his ex wife. Pressure mounts as Patrizio has laid a big bet based on the outcome of the dance contest.
Writer/director David O Russell probably knows what it is like to be manic. Actor George Clooney made it known how appalled he was with O Russell's on set behaviour in the film Three Kings. This was not an isolated incident.
The film is a funny, touching, gritty drama. It has comedy and feels heartfelt of people pulling together to help each other out.
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