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Saturday, June 22, 2013

"Silver Linings Playbook", Hollywood oddball

Silver Linings Playbook

This is, in my opinion, the sort of film that will get (better said has achieved) a lot of supporters as well as haters. The sort of movie that, almost from the very beginning, the spectator has to decide (whether consciously or not would deserve another post) if he/she believes it. To be honest, these black or white positions aren't fair with "Silver Linings Playbook", a film with a noteworthy share of attractive, but not that special to be a divisive, controversial one. Well, I guess that's the consequence of receiving such an exaggerated buzz, certified by the Oscars.

Did I "buy" the story myself? Not really. But that didn't ruin the film for me either. I guess my expectations weren't that high, wasn't looking for a movie with much substance and therefore I enjoyed its well-developed flow, as well as the chemistry and good job of the main actors. To me, "Silver Linings Playbook" is nothing more than a well executed romantic comedy with what could have been some intriguing dark twists that director David O. Russell is not interested to follow. Nothing surprising or mind-blowing, but probably better than your average Hollywood chick flick. Agreeable, with some charms, but far from the outstanding piece some have seen.

The story of Pat Solitano, very well performed by Bradley Cooper, who surprisingly (at least to me) shows a very different range from his recurrent perfume-ad boy with conviction, is not very new on surface. A troubled guy with bipolar disorder tries to reconnect with his previous life after spending some time in a mental institution. The shadow of a serious drama appears, helped by the apparition of Robert De Niro as his father, as seriously troubled, but accepted by society, as his son. But Russell shifts the focus, offering us a love story instead.

Well, the rom-com side clearly wins the pulse here. It's enjoyable thanks to Cooper and the magnetic, stunning presence of Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany. My question is: being so attractive to the camera makes you an award winner? You can't help but feel moved by the dance and their relation. I'll be generous and I'll concede the film the benefit of wanting to build that sentimental link with not the usual tricks (although some could argue conversations and the mix between sports and love are a bit confusing a couple of times). But "Silver Linings Playbook" is also predictable and flat at the end. A happy ending for a Hollywood oddball. Praise the intentions or blame its shortcomings, that's up to you. I just can't see why this film is so special, for the good and the bad.

SCORE: 5,75/10  

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