Silver Linings Playbook

I’m not entirely sure if this is clear about me, and I can’t remember if I’ve written it anywhere else on my blog, but I am a girl. I was born in 1988 which makes me a 24 (nearly 25) year old girl. And I HATE romantic comedies. I have never seen The Notebook (nor do I have any plans to) and I find most films about modern romance empty and boring, most tend to pander to the lowest common denominator of ‘women’, lots of fashion, men and finding ‘the one’. Which is why I love Silver Linings.

Silver Linings revolves almost obsessively around Pat, recently released from psychiatric hospital after a particularly violent reaction to finding his wife sleeping with one of her co-workers. He returns home, which is an equally unstable and obsessive existence for Pat. Pat develops a relationship with Tiffany, a woman who lives near him who has similar mental health issues exacerbated by her husbands death.

Pat and Tiffany

Pat and Tiffany

To call Silver Linings a romantic comedy probably does it some injustice, but it is a hugely funny film about two people falling in love. It follows the same trajectory as most romantic comedies, in that romance is inevitable, but, it doesn’t fluff things up, it doesn’t sugar coat anything, it’s not implausible. We are following two very deeply troubled people, their problems aren’t ‘God, what’s wrong with me? Why don’t guys like me?’ type problems, it’s more ‘I hear my wedding music, and I cannot control my rage’ or ‘I slept with everyone at the office, men and women’ type problems, somewhat more believable than watching Reese Witherspoon ask her generic bunch of looking friends why she struggles to find a guy to like her (like we believe that? There’s nothing wrong with them, it’s you and your whinging love). What I love about Silver Linings, is the portrayal of mental illness. The statistics for sufferers of mental illness are particularly high, yet it’s rarely portrayed in the media in a natural and positive light. Either they are stark raving mad or end up killing themselves. Silver Linings shows the franticness and difficulty of living with a mental health problem, but it also attributes mental health illness as the very positive foundation of Pat and Tiffany’s relationship, so it’s nice to see such a positive portrayal of mental health issues in Hollywood cinema.

Silver Linings is also incredibly funny, the reach of mental health issues in Pat’s family is widespread. Pat has been put away for the actions as a result of his illness, but his father’s OCD and obsessive disorder is arguably far more damaging than Pat’s one violent episode. His father is constantly under the impression that Pat must be a lucky charm for his Eagles football team, the remote controls must be placed a certain way, his handkerchief must be folded in certain ways. The dynamics of Pat’s family are engaging and beautiful to watch. I know that most families don’t have to contend with mental health issues, but Silver Linings makes a very relatable family, which is completely chaotic and mad.

Robert de Niro as Pat Snr.

Robert de Niro as Pat Snr.

The same goes for the relationship between Pat and Tiffany. Considering the real life age difference between Cooper and Lawrence, they utterly fill out their roles to the max. They are good to watch and you definitely end up rooting for them to get together. You can see and feel the chemistry between the two actors, making for a believable relationship. Working in the films favour is the absence of a sexual relationship. Sex is shown as problematic for both characters, so the onscreen relationship between Pat and Tiffany feels beautifully innocent, needless to say there are no crude, infantile jokes, which seem to come hand in hand with modern romantic comedies, there is so much more going on than sex in Silver Linings.

There is nothing complex about Silver Linings (and probably rightly so, seeing as this is a character film, with fairly full on characters!) and the story is so wonderfully unique and fresh, and so funny. The humour is very dead-pan, it’s not jokes and outright comedy, it seems more like this is life, and life with all it’s twists and turns can be quite funny.

Silver Linings is well deserved of all the critical acclaim and awards it has received, it’s refreshing and ultimately uplifting story of romance, families and the ups and downs of life, beautifully portrayed by superb acting, direction and a charming soundtrack. It’s a genuinely good film, which breaks the traditional depiction of development of romance, and succeeds in showing characters and relationships which you genuinely care about.

(P.S.- Jennifer Lawrence is my new favourite kick-ass actress. Flipping the finger at reporters at the Oscars, what a hero!)

2 thoughts on “Silver Linings Playbook

    • Thank you! You can’t imagine the strange looks I get from a lot of people when I say I have no interest in seeing it! It seems that I’m an odd one out when it comes to The Notebook!

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