‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Makes for a Winning Blend of Comedy, Drama

Nathan Fisher

During Thanksgiving break, I did my fair share of relaxing, which included catching up on missed episodes of “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead,” and more importantly, watching lots of movies. As expected, my sister dragged me to see the final “Twilight” movie (“Breaking Dawn: Part II”) and all I can say is, “Woohoo!!!!” Thankfully, no more hunky-dud Taylor Lautner turning into a werewolf. Seeing “Lincoln” late Thanksgiving night was awesome, but the movie I loved was the comedic drama “Silver Linings Playbook.”

“Silver Linings Playbook” features the budding relationship between Pat (Bradley Cooper) and Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence). Although both Pat and Tiffany are emotionally unstable, their unlikely bond helps them cope with their issues. The movie opens with Pat being released from a state mental institution after an eight-month involuntary commitment following an emotional and violent physical outburst after finding his wife with another man. Pat moves back in with his mom (Jacki Weaver) and his OCD dad (Robert DeNiro). All he wants to do is reconnect with his wife, who refuses to see him and has a restraining order against him. Pat continues to have trouble controlling himself, has no filter and is in therapy several times a week. The movie could actually be quite dark and depressing, but is filled with wonderful comic scenes such as when Pat’s friend (Chris Tucker) from the mental institution periodically breaks out to visit or watch a football game before the cops drag him away.

Pat’s attempts to reconcile with his wife are unsuccessful and while visiting a friend for dinner, Pat finds himself on a surprise set-up with Tiffany, who comes with her own baggage. After her husband dies, she copes with her grief by sleeping with all of her co-workers and gets fired. The socially challenged duo bonds while discussing the drugs their therapists have prescribed to them, and the two begin to grow close. Tiffany offers to help Pat with his marriage if he agrees to be her partner in a dance competition. The friendship the two share changes their lives.

“Silver Linings Playbook” sports an all-star cast and each actor is pushed beyond their recent acting ventures. After seeing Cooper sputter in “The Words,” I was worried he would try and pretty-boy his way through another movie, but he rose to the occasion. Lawrence effortlessly shed her Katniss bow-and-arrow image and portrayed the dancing widow with ease. Together, Cooper and Lawrence had great chemistry and played off of each other with witty dialogue and arguments over who was the most messed up. Most of the laughs, however, come from Pat’s jailbird friend, played by Chris Tucker in possibly one of his best performances. “Silver Linings Playbook” melds comedy, drama and mental problems while offering a perfect escape from the impending doom of the upcoming finals week.