Review by: Nick Flash
It’s a rare occasion when a film adaptation can outshine the novel on which it was based, but Silver Linings Playbook pulls it off quite nicely. It would be unfair of me to write a review on a movie based on a book without actually reading the book, but usually when I do that I tend to become biased and side with the original authors work.
In the case of Silver Linings Playbook however, director/writer David O. Russell took Matthew Quicks already great novel and turned it into a classic piece of modern cinema. The significant differences in the story come from the directors keen sense of knowing what the audience wants, and how to use dramatic acting to tug at peoples heart strings. I feel that the changes he made in the story were actually some of the most appealing parts of the movie, smart script writing done by a master of the craft.
The story follows Pat (Bradley Cooper) as he is released from a psychiatric care facility back to his hometown to live with his Mother & Father. He’s an optimist determined to find his “silver lining” through hard work & self improvement, so that he may one day be reunited with his wife whom he loves more that anything in the world.
Now while the book takes you deep into the thoughts and feelings of Pat the way no movie could ever really do, Bradley Cooper still brings a whole new life to this character and gets you to root for him the whole time, drawing you in so that you feel as if you were his best buddy by the time the film is over.
And while I’ve never seen “Hunger Games” or anything else she’s really stared in, I know I will now after falling in love with Jennifer Lawrence in this film. She mixes that “girl next door” charm with an air of melancholy that was so true to the book, it’s almost as if she was ripped right out of the pages.
Robert DeNiro truly brings magic to the screen as well. He plays Pat’s Dad and Phillies football fanatic, a guy you would want to have over your house on Sunday to drink beer and eat chicken wings while watching the game. Although quite different from the book, he brings way more of an emotional range and likability to the character that the novel never quite portrays, and probably one of the funniest and heartwarming characters in the whole movie.
I didn’t wanna give to much of the plot away in this review because it’s definitely a movie you’ll enjoy seeing, so I wanted to touch more on the actors and how the movie fared over the book. Chris Tucker of course brings some great comic relief to the film and Julia Styles and the rest of the cast really brings the whole thing together.
One of the greatest achievements this movie makes is the fact that you leave the theatre feeling great, happy because you genuinely had a good time.
All the underlying themes of family & true love, self-discovery & reinvention, friendship & good times leaves you feeling uplifted, and not as if you have been punched in the stomach like some other movies (Django in-particular).
It’s no wonder to me that this film and it’s actors have been nominated for so many Academy Awards this year. It’s definitely in my top 10 must sees of 2012.