I loved Silver Linings Playbook. It took me by surprise. We spontaneously drove to the movie theater (note deliberate Americanization) and snuck in to a crowded auditorium a few minutes after the titles.
There were several things that I liked about this movie about which there was something a little different. It had a somewhat unusual story line, as we find the main character attempting to rehabilitate himself having graduated from a mental institution.
He is trying his best, and looking on the bright side. He has swallowed some positive psychology, and it's serving him well. It isn't rubbing off so easily on those around him. Cue his parents, the comical duo composed of his adorable mother (Jacki Weaver), and laugh out loud funny father (Robert deNiro) who has himself at some time run into a bit of trouble with the law.
The camera brings us right into the family home, and up close and personal with the dynamics that unfold before our eyes, just as they should. There's screaming, and shouting. There's the occasional fight. There's madness and mayhem. There's gambling, and a family wide obsession with the Eagles 'football' team. There's codependency and care taking. It's just an ordinary family. And there are many, many laughs along the way.
And then Pat (Bradley Cooper) meets the gorgeous and mixed up Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence). It's a match made in heaven. Sort of. But like any relationship worth its weight, there are a few ups and downs.
It's Pat's therapist (Anupam Kher) that has a starring role from where I'm standing. He comes up with the sizzling suggestion that what his client needs most is 'a strategy', giving no clues as to what that might comprise. Pat figures it out, with Tiffany's help, and arrives at a game plan involving a perfect combination of regular exercise and reading for relaxation, taking his prescribed medication and attending therapy, alongside a solid support network from his family and friends.
It's progress not perfection that he seeks, and both he and Tiffany get their just deserve having quite literally put in the footwork. A friend in need really is a friend indeed.
"Let me tell ya. You gotta pay attention to signs. When lie reaches out with a moment lie this, it's a sin if you don't reach back... I'm telling you."