Silver Linings Playbook (2012): David O. Russell's feel-good film featuring an Oscar-winning performance from Jennifer Lawrence

More than just any other rom-com

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Silver Linings Playbook, Directed by David O. Russell, starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence
Silver Linings Playbook (2012) By David O. Russell
IMDb Ratings: 7.9
GenreComedy | Drama  | Romance
CastBradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro
Country: USA
Language: English
Runtime: 122 min

Summary: After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
I am sure we have all seen our fair share of romantic comedies (or Rom-Coms as the genre is popularly called) as movie fans and am sure that we have also enjoyed quite a few of them. To me some of the standout rom-coms in recent times are “The Proposal” starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, and “What happens in Vegas” starring Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher. Now while “Silver Linings Playbook” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper has been classified in the rom-com genre, I seem to have issues with that classification. 

Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany and Bradley Cooper as Pat in Silver Linings Playbook, Directed by David O. Russell
Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany and Bradley Cooper as Pat
Yes, granted that the movie has all the standard plot points that all rom-coms have. It has a recently widowed wife who has her own quirky way of dealing with the loss, a husband who was in a psychiatric hospital for having beat to pulp a History Teacher who was having an affair with his wife, their meeting per chance, their shared life experiences, the initial disdain for each other and their subsequent attraction for each other. Yes, the movie follows the journeys of these individuals in coping with their circumstances in life and their shared journey as they learn to grieve together and enjoy life together. But this movie is much more than just that story.

Robert De Niro (with Bradley Cooper) as Pat Sr. in Silver Linings Playbook, Directed by David O. Russell
Robert De Niro (with Bradley Cooper) as Pat Sr. 
This movie is also about the relationship that Pat (Bradley Cooper) has with his parents, a loving mother who wants nothing but the best for both her sons, a caring father who uses American football and the Philadelphia Eagles to get closer to Pat, his successful brother who has nothing but love and respect for Pat. This movie is also about Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence, in her Oscar winning portrayal) dealing with the after effects of her behavior after she was widowed. This movie is about the wonderful little cameo role of Dr Cliff Patel (played by Anupam Kher) and how his gentle and unconventional methods manage to keep Pat under control. This movie is also about how Pat’s friend, Ronnie who is married to Tiffany’s sister is struggling under the pressure of a demanding marriage and how he copes with the same. The Silver Linings Playbook has all these wonderful little characters who play awesome supporting roles in the movie.

Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver in Silver Linings Playbook, Pat's Parents, Directed by David O. Russell
Robert De Niro & Jacki Weaver in Silver Linings Playbook
In his efforts to get back with his estranged wife Nikki, Pat resorts to reading up on English literature as she is an English Teacher in High School. And his manic obsession with this one aim is clearly shown when he reads book after book in one crazy sleepless night. His one chance at getting in touch with Nikki without breaching his restraining order would be Tiffany who is friends with Nikki and promises to deliver his letter to her in return for a favor. The favor was that Pat would have to partner Tiffany in an upcoming dance competition. What follows thereof is a crazy sequence of events which leads to Pat’s father betting quite a lot of money on the Eagles beating the Cowboys and the dance competition on the same night. And how the movie wraps up all the loose ends is something that is quite enjoyable.

Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar winning performance, with Bradley Cooper, Dance Competition, Directed by David O. Russell
A Still from Silver Linings Playbook: Dance Competition
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence as the lead characters exude the optimum amount of chemistry required for the leading couple while Robert De Niro excels in what is probably one of the best supporting roles of his career (another one that immediately comes to mind is the character of Jack Brynes in the Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers series). He plays the role of Pat’s father to the hilt and the scene in which he speaks his mind out to Pat is where his true class is shown.

Anupam Kher & Bradley Cooper, at the stadium, the big match, Silver Linings Playbook, Directed by David O. Russell
Silver Linings Playbook: Anupam Kher & Bradley Cooper
Therefore, simply for the reason that this movie deals with more than just the romantic angle between the protagonists, Silver Linings Playbook is more than just any other rom-com.

About Author - 

Jairam Mohan is someone who pores over excel spreadsheets and powerpoint presentations in his day job, but believes his true calling is in writing posts for his blog,, which is updated quite frequently with topics ranging from fiction, parenting, movie related and other miscellaneous posts. Between him and his wife, they maintain the blog as well as their two year old daughter.

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  1. This was one of my favorite movies of 2012. You're absolutely right, it's more than a rom-com, at least in parts - or at least it's a great one!

  2. I saw this movie last year and I loved the performances in it.Bradley like never before and Jennifer in a role I had not expected from her. But a superb movie and definitely not a rom com. Thanks for the review.

  3. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your valuable thoughts!!! :-)

  4. I couldn't have agreed more... thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts!!! :-)


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