Rounding out a wide variety of genres for this years Academy Awards is writer-director David O. Russell’s romantic comedy Silver Playbook Lining. That’s right folks: A romantic comedy.
Pat (Bradley Cooper) is a history teacher whose bipolar tendencies are put into full throttle when he catches his wife having sex with one of his rival teachers. After spending eight months in a mental institution, Pat is released into the custody of his parents (Jackie Weaver and Robert De Niro), who are having stability issues of their own. Pat’s father, a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan, has lost his business and has turned the house into a bookie den. In accordance with his father’s superstitious mojo, Pat is expected to watch all Eagles games, but he has little interest in football and is under the delusion that he is going to get himself into tip-top physical condition, and then reunite with his wife. Under the impression that his breakdown will have a “silver lining,” Pat continues his quest to get together with his wife by writing her a letter of reconciliation (she has a restraining order on him).
Anyone who has been associated with people who have bi-polar disorders knows that this disease is no laughing matter; but in this case it is hilarious. When Pat begins to encounter a woman by the name of Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) while out on his jogs, he begins to get the feeling that he is being stalked. Tiffany apparently is a few beers short of a six-pack herself and the two begin to form an unlikely relationship of their own.
The ending of the movie has a Little Miss Sunshine aura to it, but the acting by Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro is outstanding. Silver Lining Playbook was nominated for eight Oscars and is based on a novel by Matthew Quick. See it before the Academy Awards (Feb. 24th).
My Rating: 4 of 5 Bipolar Episodes.