Silver Linings Playbook: Crazy For You

by Ethan Alter November 16, 2012 11:35 am
<i>Silver Linings Playbook</i>: Crazy For You

Eighteen years and five films into his career, writer/director David O. Russell has yet to make a bad movie, but in the first 15 minutes of his sixth completed feature Silver Linings Playbook (which is based on the book by Matthew Quick), he comes pretty damn close. The film begins with the not-so-triumphant homecoming of Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper), a Philly-based high-school history teacher recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. For the past eight months, Pat's been cooling his heels in an institution, where he was sentenced after beating the guy his wife was sleeping with to a pulp. Convinced that being in familiar surroundings would aid in his recovery, his mother Delores (Jacki Weaver) secures his release under the proviso that he'll move back in with her and his father Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro). It's a nice thought, but the Solatano household isn't what you'd call a stress-free atmosphere; Dad's got a gambling habit (and a touch of OCD) while Mom is mostly an enabler. Both also have a penchant for bellowing at the top of their lungs, a trait that their son shares. Indeed, the opening act of Silver Linings Playbook is filled with so much yelling and screaming and carrying-on, it's like being trapped at a particularly noxious Thanksgiving dinner... the kind that makes the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade seem like a model of peace and quiet.

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