Well, it's New Year's Eve and you can tell what I've done most of the Christmas/New Year holiday - movies. I love seeing films on the big screen, and fortunately my favorite theater, Cinemark Tinseltown, has matinees for $4.25. Sssh - don't them that is really inexpensive. I don't want them to enter the 21st century. So, here's the last review for 2012 and then no doubt it's onward into 2013 with Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty, and more.
Silver Linings Playbook is humorous angst, if that's possible. We meet Pat (Bradley Cooper, spreading his wings as an actor) as he's released from a psychiatric hospital. Now he's back living with Mom ( a fretful Jacki Weaver) and Dad (uptight Robert DeNiro) and trying to cope with the world again. His goal is to get back his wife, and he has to prove to everyone that he has his act together. That's tough to do when the song "My Cherie Amour" triggers rage at the doctor's office, when he jogs wearing a garbage bag over his track suit, and when he meets another unhinged person and sparks fly.
Jennifer Lawrence shines as Tiffany. Her husband died, she slept with everyone at her office and got fired, and she's a loose cannon training for a dance competition. She convinces Pat to be her partner and in turn she'll smuggle his letters to the separated wife (by restraining order). As they practice dance, the friendship grows and yet Pat is fixated on the wife.
Meanwhile, the father is running a bookie business and is obsessed with the Eagles. He tries to bond with Pat and even blames himself for Pat's issues. There is a lot of shouting in this movie, and plenty of tension. Pat has no social filter on his mouth, and with Bradley Cooper's excellent acting we can watch the conflicting emotions cross his face. Or we can feel his confusion.
Ultimately it is an evolving love story and also a family in crisis movie. And Silver Linings Playbook is funny. Amidst all the angst and crazy, you will like these people and root for them to win. It is R rated for good reason and is for grown-ups looking for a movie with a solid cast and story. Oscar buzz alert. You'll want to place your bet on this one.
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.