The movie is very good. Don’t get me wrong. But there are a lot of very good movies that are not Oscar worthy. This is one of them. Silver Linings Playbook is one of those movies that confuse me. The confusion comes from how much the critics gush over them at the end of the year and when I finally see them, I find them grossly overrated and I fail to see where the complete adoration stems from.
Silver Linings Playbook reminds me of The Descendants from last year’s Oscar run. Not in story or acting, but in how much it is overrated. I went into The Descendants expecting to see some of the greatest acting and one of the most amazing stories ever put on screen. 0 for 2 on that. The story was boring and lifeless and before it had a chance to become something substantial, it was over. Silver Linings Playbook was a much better film than The Descendants. Bradley Cooper is fine as the lead, but I saw nothing spectacular about his performance. The same goes for Robert Deniro and Jacki Weaver. They are all great performers but placed together in somewhat unchallenging roles. I thought Jennifer Lawrence’s performance stood out more than the rest. She seemed to be the only one that exuded real emotion.
A couple of years ago, Director David O. Russell gave us The Fighter. It starred Mark Wahlberg and gave Christian Bale a much deserved Supporting Actor Oscar. Melissa Leo also won supporting actress and was up against another deserving nominee in Amy Adams. Much like Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter garnered multiple acting nominations for the same movie. However, The Fighter actually deserved them. Just because Russell caught lightning in a bottle once doesn’t automatically mean that he does it every time. Take a look at individual projects, don’t just nominate for the hell of it based on past successes.
Take away all the hype and the critical love fest for this movie, and all you have is a regular romantic comedy that is better than most. I still recommend going to see it, but don’t expect to be blown away by superior acting or dialogue. Make your own opinion of it and do not simply follow the hype of the critics. I truly wanted to love this movie, but I just didn’t.
Oscar gripes aside, I did like Silver Linings Playbook. It was a simple story of redemption and finding ones’ self again. It had likeable characters and a solid ensemble performance. I think the critics are going to eventually be doing a disservice to this harmless little film because they are severely overhyping it.
Bottom Line: Silver Linings Playbook is an enjoyable film with good stars and a positive message. If it wins a statue in February, it won’t be the worst thing in the world, but it certainly doesn’t deserve it.
Silver Linings Playbook: 7/10