Live Your Life Out Loud !!
(2013 Academy Award Nominations for Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture for “Silver Lining PLaybook”, Bradley Cooper for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, Jennifer Lawrence for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role and Robert De Niro for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role)
***WINNER*** Jennifer Lawrence Won the Academy Award and Oscar for best Actress – GO HER !!
What does the title of this movie actually mean, you may be wondering? The title of this movie is about being able to see life in a different, better and happier way then you were not allowing yourself to in the past. This movie came out on Wednesday November 21, 2012, was based on the novel by Matthew Quick, and stars Bradley Cooper (son, Pat Solatano) Jennifer Lawrence (friend and girlfriend, Tiffany from the movies “The Hunger Games” and “Winter’s Bone”) Robert DeNiro (father, Pat Sr.), Jackie Weaver (mom, Dolores) Chris Tucker (friend, Danny), Julie Stiles (Ronnie’s wife), Anupam Kher (therapist, Dr. Cliff Patel) and John Ortiz (friend, Ronnie). “Silver Linings Playbook” is about a guy, played by Bradley Cooper, who in the beginning of the movie is just being released from a mental hospital. He plays a guy in his 30’s who has been in the hospital for 8 months and his mother, played by Jacki Weaver, is taking him home so that he can try to live a normal life with his parents. What is a normal life anyway these days?
Bradley Cooper has become over the last few years a very well-know actor who is getting great recognition from moviegoers. Bradley Cooper embodies every character that he plays and brings out the real raw emotions that a person in the character’s shoes would actually feel. For most people it might be surprising to see him play the character of Pat so excellently because people seem to automatically label Bradley Cooper with that raunchy, obnoxious, R-rated comedy label whenever they see his face. Bradley Cooper has been in many movies such as “The Hangover”, “The Hangover Part 2” ands is in the process of filming “The Hangover Part 3”. His other recent movies include “Limitless”, “The Words” and “Team A”.
Pat, played by Bradley Coopers, in the movie plays a character who suffers from extreme depression due to his wife cheating on him with the history teacher who worked in the same school where Pat worked. Pat explodes when he came home unexpectedly and finds his wife and the history teacher in the shower together with Pat’s wedding song (Stevie Wonder’s “My Cheri Amor”) playing. His good friend Danny, played by Chris Tucker, got in the car with Pat and his mom when Pat’s mom was picking him up to try and escape out of the mental hospital but Pat’s mom after driving a few miles away from the hospital realized that Danny was not supposed to leave and brought him back to the hospital to finish out his time there. Pat is on all types of medicine to calm himself down when his emotions and anger get out of hand but he refuses his medication most of the time because of the horrible side effects. I used to be on anti-depressant medication and being on them is not worth it due to the fact that when being on them you are always hungry and gain lots of weight. Sometimes these medications can make you more hyper and if you are already a hyper active person this is something you do not want to be more of. Pat has pushed the idea of medication out of his life and is trying to live a life of positive reinforcement with seeing the “silver linings” in the situations he has been through and in the new situation that he will also face in the future.
Bradley plays a strong character that is ready to change his life for the better but does not succeed in some of the scenes throughout this movie. This movie shows the side of what many families most likely go through but do not want to admit. “Silver Linings Playbook” was a real eye opener on how my family treats each other and helped me see how people who love each other so much can also hurt each other so very much as well. Problems and situations that start out small can get out of hand very quickly when people do not know how to control their temper. You get the sense that this family really does loved each other but the way they express that love in this movie most of the time was in a violent and disrespectful way that resulted in the cops coming to their house to make sure everything was alright and under control. Pat was walking on thin ice and had to prove to the courts that it was the right choice to let him leave the hospital. Pat still had to see a therapist, played by Anupam Kher, who was helping him heal and be able to deal with things better without exploding on people.
Before Pat was in the hospital he was living with his wife and they are still married but now have been separated for almost a year. Whenever Bradley hears their wedding song (Stevie Wonder’s “my Cheri Amor”) he flips out. He desperately wants his wife back but she blames him for her cheating and says that he has a lot to work on before they can even see each other. She needs time to heal thus making the whole problem his fault, which is extremely selfish of her. You can see the great pain that Pat is feeling when his wedding song is played and it is understandable that his wedding song would trigger that type of distress. His family, friends and therapist try to put themselves in his shoes and understand what he is feeling and going through but they cannot and instead had put him in the hospital and on medication to help. He wants nothing more than to get his wife back and live life like he was before being admitted into the hospital. Every morning he goes for a long run to get himself back in shape and lose the many pounds that he gained from the medications he was on. He would run for miles around his neighborhood to try to figure out how he could fix his life for the better. Every time Pat goes out running he wears a black garbage over his clothes and he says to his parents that wearing the garbage will help him to sweat when running but the real reason is because he feels like he is trash because of how he has turned out due to what his wife did. Pat feels that he is not worthy of being anything more then a piece of trash and the trash bag that he wears symbolizes just that. He just wanted to be the guy that his wife and parents were proud of. But most importantly he wanted to be proud of himself and regain the people back that he let down.
Pat is a good guy who just needs to find that one thing in life to put him back on track and able to let his wife go and realize that whatever he does he will never be the guy that his wife wants back in her life. Facing that truth will be hard for him but viewers of this movie are rooting for Pat from the beginning to the end and every step in between. While on one of his long runs, Pat bumps into his good friend and neighbor that he had not seen in a long time since he was in the mental hospital. His friend Ronnie, played by John Ortiz, invites him over for dinner but Pat almost refuses knowing that his wife never liked him but Pat decides to take the invitation and joins them the next night for dinner. He first asks his friend Ronnie if it is okay if he wears his favorite lucky sports jersey to dinner and his friend says yes right away because he loves that sports team as well but Pat says that your wife would think it was inappropriate. Ronnie at that moment says that him and he wife, played by Julie Stilies, have not been getting along and have not been seeing eye to eye and she will not let him do things that he likes. Pat sensed hostility between his friend and his wife even before he was in the hospital and tries to convince Ronnie that he really needs to have a good talk with his wife to work things out just like Pat is planning to doing with his wife. At that dinner Tiffany, his friend Ronnie’s wife’s sister, joins them. Pat has met Tiffany a few times before but they never got to know each other. Tiffany, who is a couple of years younger than Pat, thinks who the heck she is and does not want to be at that dinner anyway and in the middle of eating she storms out. Pat leaves also to see what is wrong with her and she starts flirting with him but Pat makes it clear that he is trying to fix his life so that his wife will come back to him. Tiffany reminds Pat that her husband died recently and she is lonely. Tiffany is kind of the town tramp that picks up guys that she does not even really like just for the attention. Now that Tiffany and Pat are getting to know each other she thinks it is alright to follow him on his morning runs. Pat thinks she is kind of creepy but also gorgeous at the same time. Tiffany will not leave Pat alone so on Halloween Pat invites her to the local diner for a bite to eat. At first they were getting along pretty fabulously but the night turns out badly because they both go too far with the rude comments towards each other. They both actually really like each other but are having trouble expressing themselves. Each day that follows they both see each other in the neighborhood and start up conversations and Pat confides in Tiffany that he really wants more then anything is the love that he and his wife once had to be the same in the present. Pat’s wife will currently not talk with him and in fact due to the restraining order there is no communication. Tiffany being good friends with his wife knows a way that he can get to say what he most desires to his wife. Tiffany tells Pat to write his wife a letter and this way he can pour out everything he is feeling and Tiffany promises that she will deliver that letter to his wife the next time she sees her. Pat is extremely grateful but there is a catch. Tiffany in return wants Pat to do something for her. She tells Pat that there is this big fancy dance that she wanted to enter in but since her husband died she has no partner. Tiffany makes a deal with Pat that she will only give his letter to his wife if he agrees to practice for the dance with her. Pat is not a dancer but realizes that dancing with Tiffany would not be that bad if she does what she promises for him. Pat’s family wonders where he is all the time and why he is always going out and if Tiffany is a bad influence on him. Pat’s father, played by Robert DeNiro loves Pat so very much and wants Pat to spend more time with him because quality father son time might help him to get out of his depression and on the right track to a better life. Pat keeps telling his family that he feels better than ever and that the things that had caused him to be put into the mental hospital will not happen again because he wants so badly to be a healthier person.
Robert DeNiro plays Pat Sr. who is a guy in his 60’s who has OCD and who has lost his business due to the fact that he gambles away all his money on sports games (especially the Philadelphia Eagles football team). Pat likes sports but is not really into watching games on television everyday like his father does. Pat one night when his parents were sleeping flips out over something that triggered something for him from his past and this fight gets totally out of hand that his father starts slapping him an Pat pushes his mother to the floor. The cops come to break up the fight and Pat tells his parents that he is extremely sorry. Pat still has those symptoms from time to time that had caused him to enter the hospital. The next night Pat Sr. enters his son’s room while sleeping and they have a heart to heart talk about how much they love one another and how much they want to make each other proud. Pat again tells his father how sorry he is for the out of control fight from the night before. His father forgives him and says that it would mean the world to him if he would just spend some time watching the sports game with him and so Pat wakes up to watch the game. This shows that family can overcome almost anything with the power of true love. This is the story of extremely flawed individuals but their characters are written so well that they are easy to relate to.
Pat Sr. finds out that the girl that his son, Pat, has been seeing is actually Pat’s good luck charm and whenever Pat hangs out with Tiffany his father’s favorite sports team, the Philadelphia Eagles football, wins. Tiffany turns out to be a good influence on Pat despite how crazy she may act from time to time. Even before “Silver Linings Playbook” hit theaters it had Oscar buzz surrounding it. This movie shows how two people who are totally different are actually perfect for each other and bring out the best in one another as well. Tiffany and Pat practice day in and day out for the dance competition and each day you see their bond growing stronger. A scense that I loved was when Pat’s friend Danny, played by Chris Tucker, gets out of the hospital for a couple of days and joins Pat at one of his dance practices and tells Pat that his dancing is good but it would be even better if he “blacked it up” because Chris Tucker is a black man that dances with soul. I thought that line was simply adorable. There are moments in this movie that bring you joy and also moments that make you fear for the characters lives. Viewers wonder if everything for the family is going to work out and if Pat ends up being happy in life and if his father can control his OCD and gambling addiction and also if the mom can somehow survive the two of them. Life does not always go according to plan but it is how you deal with situations that make you a stronger and healthier person. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and see the silver lining underneath the things he has a hard time dealing with.
“Silver Linings Playbook” is a movie that you will be hearing plenty about in the months to come because of the buzz it already has been getting from movie critics. Being human is a messy, complicated business but something that can be dealt with more easily when we have people who care and love us in our lives. “Silver Linings Playbook” was directed by David O. Russell and by the end of the dance competition final, the audience, actors and director are on exactly the same page and that is Russell’s playbook. The road to Pat’s recovery starts off pretty bumpy but you try resolving multiple restraining orders and a bi-polar condition while pursuing an ambitious self-improvement regimen without encountering a few setbacks. Most people go through low points in their lives and experience family issues that seems like they will never get resolved but through faith and the drive for a better tomorrow you will see that the life you wanted for yourself can be yours. Families are a precious gift that many of us take for granted. See this movie with your family and after it I am sure you will be trying much harder to avoid conflict whenever possible. From the minute Tiffany and Pat met in the movie, I knew they were going to end up together but it was not until Robert DeNiro’s character, Pat Sr., wanted it to happen that things started to heat up. It was almost like Pat was still a kid and needed his parent’s approval, which was sweet. Pat plays a sensitive character that wants to regain love back into his life. Pat takes a journey in this movie of extreme growth and he discovers the beauty that can come from non-beautiful circumstances. Life can take a turn for the unexpected but sometimes the turn it takes works out better than you could have ever imagined or planned. Take a lesson and learn from Pat to see the “silver linings” in your own life.