Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Silver Linings Playbook
Director: David O. Russell
Writer: David O. Russell
Based on: Matthew Quick‘s novel
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher, John Ortiz, Julia Stiles, Shea Whigham

Pat (Bradley Cooper) was just released from a psychiatric hospital where he got committed after a violent episode and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His mother Dolores (Jacki Weaver) takes him home, where his fahter Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) carefully tries to reconnect with him. Pat is obsessed with winning his ex-wife Nikki back. So when he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), the sister of his best friend’s (John Ortiz) wife (Julia Stiles) who is still in touch with Nikki, all Pat sees in Tiffany is another chance to contact Nikki. But Tiffany who is just getting over her husband’s death brings her own set of problems. Among them a dance competition she doesn’t have a partner for. So she and Pat come up with a deal: Pat dances with her and Tiffany will deliver a message to Nikki.

On the surface, Silver Linings Playbook is pretty much your standard RomCom. But underneath that, it’s one of the most realistic and smartest films about mental illness Hollywood ever produced. I loved it.


Bradley Cooper really surprised me in this film*. So far he hasn’t really impressed me with his acting skills, but in this film he really is incredible. Especially his portrayal of the manic phases is absolutely spot-on. Jennifer Lawrence is brilliant, too. She usually is and she absolutely needs to be to keep up with Bradley Cooper. Her Tiffany is fragile and strong at the same time and she keeps that perfectly balanced.

And Robert De Niro hasn’t been as good as he was here in a very long time. His Pat Sr. dances right along the edges of mental illness himself (in fact, I’d say he fell off the edge a while back) and De Niro does that full justice.


But of course, the best cast is nothing without a good script, but they totally lucked out in that respect, too. It has good dialogues, great character development, it is smart and it has a sense of humor. It’s a killer combination.

I really want to read the book now. And then watch the movie again.


Summarising: you should definitely watch it.

*Also because short hair and a stubble and a not all smooth appearance suddenly made him attractive as hell.


  1. A subject like mental illness treated with respect? And a rom com about something as romantic and fluffy as a relationships with a mentally ill person? Cool. I’ll try to see this movie.

    • You should!
      Though I have to warn you – some of the people I spoke with about this film were a little disappointed by it. Maybe because of the award buzz.
      I really liked it, though. :)

  2. My main issue with this movie was that after all the revelations, when you think about it, Tiffany really is a pretty selfish, manipulative b*tch. Which would be ok (from a movie character point of view) if they would at least acknowledge it. But I really felt the filmmakers didn’t want us to notice how she used Pat (and risked the total financial ruin of his family) at all. Too bad that I still did… ^^

    • My interpretation of Tiffany is far from so negative. Yes, she’s a little ruthless in her pursuit of Pat, but I thought that this was more out of a sense of vulnerability and insecurity. She didn’t know how else she could get him and she didn’t want another opportunity to pass her by.

      That doesn’t make all her actions okay, but I think it’s far from her being a manipulative bitch.

      And she is not the one responsible for the financials of Pat’s family, or the compulsive behavior of her dad. Does she egg him on? Yes. But he is an adult who makes his own decisions.

  3. Ok, I admit, calling her a manipulative bitch was my way to (over?)compensate what I perceived to be a blatant disregard of her actions by the film itself. I don’t meant it that negative and also don’t see her as a bad person. It just irked me that it was never ever even remotely discussed.

    • As it was never discussed that he was an ass from letting the farce go on. As it was never actually discussed that his father’s behavior was pathological.

      There were a whole lot of things this movie glossed a bit over. It didn’t bother me as much as it obviously bothered you.

      • To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi: Who is the bigger ass? The ass, or the ass who follows her/him? :-p. Ultimately, I think her “sin” was bigger. And they very much discussed his fathers behaviour. I mean they didn’t talk about it, but it was a big part of the film. But her lying for the entire second part of the movie? Not so much. It was a plot point, something the script used to get the story where they wanted it to go, but as real human behavior, they never even remotely discussed what she did, and that bothered me.

        • It was also never really discussed that he knew that she was lying to him. Instead him letting things play out that way was painted as a romantic gesture which bothered me way more than how her behavior was shown. But I see what you’re getting at.

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