Silver Linings Playbook (Russell, 2012)

Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell, 2012)

So it turns out when romantic comedy is done right, it’s not a bad genre. Unlike most films labeled as ‘chick flicks’, Silver Linings Playbook actually cares about its characters – all of them. The protagonists, the role players, and even the unseen characters are drawn sympathetically – interesting and unique – without being quirky and annoying. The mental illness route is a dangerous one to venture, but from all accounts, it’s an extremely honest depiction. Most surprising to me, though, is that the central romantic plot is much more similar to the love stories I’m interested in than the ones that generally plague a romantic comedy. It probably doesn’t hurt that Cooper and Lawrence are both great, and that their characters are broken, lonely, and overwhelmed with the hands they’re dealt (as opposed to a snooty protagonist who is soooo torn up about whether to choose hunk #1 or hunk #2!). Sure, there’s still a cornball ending and several stupid plot contrivances that feel like a forced path from point A to point B, but all in all this is commendable, honest, and genuinely heartfelt.  8/10

silver linings playbook

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