“This is what I believe to be true. This is what I learned in the hospital. You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, if you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining.”
-Pat (Bradley Cooper) in Silver Linings Playbook
Hey everyone, Zip! here. How’s everyone doing?
This last weekend, partly to make up for a Valentine’s Day spent in separate states, my girlfriend and I went to see a romantic movie by the name of Silver Linings Playbook. Now, ordinarily, I don’t review romances- I don’t have a good feel for how a romance is supposed to go, and as such I don’t believe I can fairly and objectively examine a romance of this sort (Now, on the other hand, the Warm Bodies romance I’m totally capable of working with!) However, I really liked Silver Linings Playbook, even if it did give my girlfriend a somewhat incorrect perspective on how losing weight works.
In a nutshell, Silver Linings Playbook is the story of Pat (Bradley Cooper), a former teacher whose job and marriage are torn apart after a psychotic episode results in the severe trauma of his wife’s lover, and Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a widow whose reaction to her husband’s death leads her to sleep around with a great many men, eventually costing her her job and her reputation. The story focuses on the two of them in how they learn to deal with their mental illnesses and bud an unlikely relationship.
Overall, I was very impressed with the movie. The two main characters have a wealth of character development that I find to be absent in many of the lower-budget romances. Pat in particular is very interesting, as his bipolar tendencies lead him to be very unstable, and get him in trouble more often than not. He spends the entire movie obsessed with his wife, Nikki, focused on how he’s going to prove to her that he’s different. He’s obsessed with losing weight, reading more books, and other ways that he can prove to her that he’s changed. In his mind, showing Nikki that he’s changed will lead to them getting back together, and once they’re back together everything will be perfect. He also spends a lot of the movie being a complete and total ass by speaking his mind without any sense of shame or reserve. Tiffany, in turn, is interesting in her form of obsession with Pat. For some reason, she intensely desires to be with Pat, and is willing to try to manipulate him into liking her. She convinces Pat to train for and enter a dancing competition to prove to Nikki that he’s changed, and during the course of the movie reveals that she’s suffering almost as much as Pat is.
Ultimately, the final product is a movie that shows a lot more interesting characters than I usually give romances credit for (when a major title in the genre is Twilight, It’s hard to have respect for romance.) The characters have significant struggle in managing their own feelings and emotions, let alone the feelings and emotions of a significant other, and yet, they still manage to engage in a complex and engaging relationship. There were a lot of really great quotes and emotional scenes, like Pat’s reaction to reading a Hemmingway book or the Eagles game that Pat goes to with his brother. It’s a very well done romance, so if you’re in a relationship or if you’ve got a solid romantic streak in you, I’d recommend checking it out- I’m already going broke this year due to the movies, but this one’s good enough to make the cut anyways. Although, if you’re trying to lose weight, don’t let your significant other see this movie! Pat spends a lot of time jogging with a big goofy plastic poncho’d over himself to get him to sweat more, but don’t be fooled! Increasing the amount that you sweat while running is great for losing weight quickly, but it’s all temporary weight loss! It comes right back! I now have to deal with the insistence that I go out jogging with a plastic bag o!