|The film provides great chemistry between Lawrence and Cooper.|
I must be getting old, why, I hear you say? Well, I actually went to see a romantic comedy with a happy ending and thoroughly enjoyed it!!!! But before you all get too excited I’d better tell you that the director of the award winning The Fighter (2010) and the brilliant quirky comedy I Heart Huckabees (2004) David O Russell’s latest film Silver Linings Playbook (2012) does in fact deal with problems associated with mental illness, maybe not quite Family Life (1971) but a very agreeable picture all the same.
The film boasts a very talented cast that manages, with Russell’s directive powers, to walk the line between romance, comedy and a dark psychological drama. Based on the 2008 novel of the same name by Matthew Quick is stars Jennifer Lawrence (Winters Bone 2010) who plays Tiffany, the young widow of a police officer who was run down and killed by a car while helping a stranger change his wheel after a puncture. Unable to get over his death she suffers from an addictive dysfunction, which has resulted in her getting the sack from her job after having sex with all the staff, male and female! Pat Solitano, played by the Hangover (2009) star Bradley Cooper, is a former school teacher who has spent the last eight months in a psychiatric hospital suffering from a bipolar disorder brought on when he came home from work early one afternoon and found his wife Nikki naked in the shower with a fellow teacher and severely beat the man. Discharged, he is sent home to live with his parents, Dolores (Australian actress Jacki Weaver best known as the gangland matriarch in Animal Kingdom (2010)) and his gambling addictive father Pat Senior (an on form Robert De Niro) with the proviso that he diligently takes his medication and does not enter the exclusion zone around his estranged wife. It’s when he meets Tiffany and she invites him to partner her in a dance completion, in aid of a police charity, that the psychological sparks begin to fly.
|Mum (Jacki Weaver) and Dad (Robert De Nero)|
The chemistry between Lawrence and Cooper forms the backbone of this hugely watchable movie, but all members of the cast, even the minor one’s are excellent. Russell is a director of some credit who is not afraid to tackle underlying serious subjects without being pretentious or depressing. A film that’s head and shoulders above the normal material found under the rom-com banner and for once I can sit through a feel good movie without requiring a sick bag. Could be in the running for an Oscar nomination?