David O. Russell presents Silver Linings Playbook, his latest ensemble tale to hit the big screen. Bradley Cooper plays Pat Solatano, a former high school teacher who is just released from a psychiatric facility to his parents.
He is placed in the psychiatric facility after he beat a colleague he discovered naked in the shower with his wife. Pat is suffering from bipolar disorder. He would wake up at 4 a.m. in order to vent to his parents about the unhappy ending of Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. Psychiatric disorder runs in the family. Pat’s father (Robert De Niro) has OCD. He has several superstitions with regards to his illegal football gambling operation.
At a dinner party, Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) who also seems to be problematic. She is an outspoken, young woman who got into trouble after the death of her cop husband. The chemistry between the two is perfect right from their first meeting. They have to get over their emotional scars first, especially Pat’s obsession with winning his wife back despite having a restraining order filed against him. Pat asks Tiffany to be his negotiator with his wife and Tiffany agrees if he also agrees to be her partner for a dance competition.
The climax of Silver Linings Playbook takes place when two important events happen at the same time. These are the dance competition and the football game for the hometown heroes the Philadelphia Eagles. It is one of the most smile-inducing climaxes in recent cinematic history.
Silver Linings Playbook has quirky humor with diverse characters that are engaging. Director Cooper makes the moody Pat lovable that audiences would root for his recovery. Lawrence surprisingly shows she has the comic skills of a pro. She is definitely different from the character she plays in The Hunger Games.