Silver Linings Playbook — Crazy Love — Videos
Silver Linings Playbook —Crazy Love
By Raymond Thomas Pronk
Pat Solitano Jr. (Bradley Cooper) and his father Pat Sr. (Robert DeNiro) share their rage.
A romantic comic-drama about mental illness, ballroom dancing, gambling and the Philadelphia Eagles with a puzzling title — “Silver Linings Playbook” — a movie or madness?
The first half of the movie is a drama about two crazy people struggling with their mental problems. Pat Solitano Jr., played by Bradley Cooper, is suffering from bipolar manic-depression. He was recently released after eight months in a psychiatric facility for severely beating his wife’s lover when he caught them in the shower having sex.
Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence) has been depressed over the death of her husband, Tommy, and is a recovering sex addict who was fired from her job for sleeping with everyone in the office.
Pat moves in with his father, “Pat Sr.” (Robert De Niro), an unemployed compulsive-obsessive gambler and his mother Dolores (Jacki Weaver). They care about their son’s recovery from mental illness and worry about his future.
Pat’s friend Ronnie Miles (John Ortiz) and his wife, Veronica (Julie Stiles), invite him to dinner. Ronnie warns Pat not to mention to his sister-in-law, Tiffany, the death of her husband. Pat and Tiffany quickly exchange inappropriate remarks and compare the drugs they have taken for their respective mental disorders.
The second half of the movie is a romantic-comedy as they both work together on their issues and strategies to recover from their mental illnesses.
Pat’s wife has moved away and has a restraining order against her husband for his past violent behavior. Pat agrees to enter a ballroom dancing contest and practice with Tiffany provided she will get a letter to his wife, Nikki (Brea Bee), with whom Pat hopes to get back together. Tiffany delivers to Pat a letter from Nikki in which she hints at a possible reconciliation.
Pat’s father asks his son to attend a Philadelphia Eagles football game on which he has placed a big bet believing his son will bring him luck or good juju. This requires Pat to miss a practice dance session with Tiffany. Pat, his brother Jake (Shea Whigham) and his psychiatrist Dr. Cliff Patel (Anupam Kher) meet in the stadium parking lot, where Pat gets into a fight and is arrested. Pat’s father loses the big bet. He believes it was the result of bad juju for his son not attending the game. Tiffany convinces Pat Sr. that when his son is with her, the Eagles always win and she is good juju.
Pat Sr. doubles down with a parlay bet on the Eagles beating Dallas and for Pat and Tiffany to score at least 5 out of 10 points in the ballroom dance contest the same night. Tiffany becomes agitated when Pat’s wife Nikki shows up to watch the dance contest.
If you are an incurable romantic and optimist who believes in a match made in heaven and every cloud has a silver lining,” you may be enchanted by the film’s storybook ending. If you are a realist, this movie will seem hopelessly far-fetched and sheer madness.
The film’s Academy Award nominations include best picture, director (David O. Russell), actor (Cooper), actress (Lawrence), supporting actor (De Niro), supporting actress (Weaver), adapted screenplay (David O. Russell) and film editing (Jay Cassidy & Crispin Struthers).
It is rare for a film to be nominated for the Academy’s four top acting awards; the last time was in 1981 with “Reds,” as well as the so-called “big five” for best picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay. If the film won the “big five” awards it would be in the select company of “It Happened One Night” (1934), a romantic comedy, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1971), a drama set in a mental institution, and “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991), a thriller about a psychiatrist who is also a cannibalistic serial killer.
The film faces two tough competitors in “Argo” and “Lincoln” for best picture, director, actor, film editing and adapted screenplay. However, I will not be surprised if Russell edges out “Lincoln” director Steven Spielberg or “Lincoln” writer Tony Kushner or “Argo” writer Chris Terrio for adapted screen play. However, “Silver Lining Playbook” looks like a real long shot for the “big five” because the most likely Oscar winner for best actor is Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln.
In January, Lawrence won a Golden Globe award for best actress in a comedy or musical and the Screen Actors Guild’s best actress award.
I believe “Silver Linings Playbook” will win at least two Oscars for best actress (Lawrence) and supporting actor (De Niro).
The movie is a crazy “chick flick”. For Valentine’s Day see the movie with a date and then sing Van Morrison’s Crazy Love:
I can hear her heart beat for a thousand miles
And the heavens open every time she smiles
And when I come to her that’s where I belong
Yet Im running to her like a rivers song
She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love
She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love…
Film rating: A
Raymond Thomas Pronk is host of the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Fridays and author of the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com/
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