Review: ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ is dry yet insightful

Ryan Morris

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.

Based on the novel by Matthew Quick, “Silver Linings Playbook” follows the story of Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), a man recently discharged from a mental hospital after nearly killing his wife’s lover.

The story follows Pat’s drive to reunite with his cheating wife. Along the way he meets a young widow named Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), and his quest slowly begins to change.

The rest of the story is wrapped up in Pat’s somewhat dysfunctional home life as well as his budding relationship with Tiffany.

There are random bursts of sensible humor, but there are also interjections that make next to no sense in the context of the story. The film is highly realistic and somewhat unorthodox in its presentation of mood disorders.

The depictions of these mood disorders have the potential to be questioned, however. Some of Pat’s or Tiffany’s outbursts seem downright childish, and it could be questioned how mentally sane they truly are.

Together, the two of them appear to be quite dangerous, as neither of them possesses any real stability. In fact, the most fictional aspect of the story is that the two of them would begin a relationship.

This film is definitely not for the lighthearted. It delves deeply into the human psyche and reveals a world that most people would rather not acknowledge, especially in regards to the realm of entertainment.

Although the film feels somewhat unrealistic at times, it is daunting to realize that it could just as well be true.

The film is also a little slow-moving, as it takes a good half-hour to establish the story and actually set any action in motion. Though this is by no means meant to be a thriller, even the actual action is somewhat slow. It is geared to be more mentally and emotionally provoking.

Despite this, both Cooper and Lawrence give startling performances as Pat and Tiffany, respectively. Both are very accurate depictions of troubled people and the processes they must go through to heal. The fact that they both can help one another is especially interesting, since no other outsider seems to have the ability to do so.

The overall feeling alternates from high to low, fluctuating in time with the emotional responses of the characters.

In this respect, there is never a lack of surprises about what will come next.

Though this film may not be thrilling or even truly entertaining, it definitely provides a small bit of insight into the otherwise ignored realm of mood disorders and the efforts it requires to overcome them.

“Silver Linings Playbook” will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on April 30 and will play at I.G. Greer this weekend.

Rating: Two and a half out of four stars.

Story: CHELLA MCLELLAND, Intern A&E Reporter