Originally posted on Extra Pine Tar  |  Last updated 12/8/12
I’m a big fan of dramedies in general, so seeing this was going to happen for me either way at some point. Then I saw that Chris Tucker was actually going to be in a movie that wasn’t part of the Rush Hour franchise and I was even more intrigued. Seriously, Chris Tucker won’t step foot on to a movie set for anything less than a Rush Hour payday around 30 million or so, but yet he chose to be in this little movie with Katniss Everdeen, Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro. This Chris Tucker angle is what led me to convince my friends that Life of Pi could wait, because if Chris Tucker thought this movie was worth doing then Avatar 2 could wait. Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper as Pat Solitano. A relatively normal guy who snaps one day when he walks in on his wife and her colleague in the shower. He then proceeds to do what any normal guy would do and mercilessly beats the guy to within an inch of his life. To avoid jail he pleas out and gets a stay in an insitution. After eight months, he’s released on a plea deal. With no job, home or wife to go back to he moves in with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver). Right from the start its abundntly clear why Pat may have some issues. His dad is OCD and bordeline bi-polar and his mother just seems numb from years of hiding whenever the Eagles have a bad game. Pat’s father recently lost his pension and makes a living as a bookie. Which makes Sundays even more stressful than usual. Pat has an unwavering idea that if he improves himself then his marriage will come back together. His dependence on this far fetched fantasy borders on delusional and you find yourself just wanting to scream “THE GUY WAS GOING DOWN ON HER IN THE SHOWER TO YOUR WEDDING SONG! GET OVER IT!” But you can’t do that because there are other people in the theater and they frown on that sort of behavior. When he’s invited over his friends Ronnie and Veronica’s house (a surpise appearance by Julia Stiles and her big face) he is introduced to Veronica’s sister Tiffany (played by Jennifer Lawrence from the Hunger Games), a widower who has her own set of problems that rival Pat’s. From their first meeting it is clear there is the sort of chemistry that can either work perfectly or end very ugly. This isn’t just a story of two people who have anger issues falling in love. It’s a story of how close everyone is to losing it, and that your idea of normal may not be the same as somebody elses. The lead actors, as well as the supporting cast, really turned in some solid performances and helped me to notice some things. Chris Tucker should be in more movies. Whenever he is on the screen he steals the entire scene. You find yourself wanting more and more of him all while remembering how funny he really is. Everything from his voice to body movements has always cracked me up and this movie is no different. This is obviously heightened a bit because he’s never in movies, but overall it was a great performance by Chris Tucker and I really hope he starts doing more movies. Bradley Cooper has some range. Do you hear that? Huh, do ya? That’s Oscar buzz for Bradley Cooper. I know, I’m just as surprised as the next person. Who knew that the Sack Master would turn in to a pretty damn good actor? Robert De Niro still has it. You start to get a little nervous around the 4th or 5th flop in a row for him and Al Pacino, but old Bobby turns in a really nice performance as the OCD father of our hero. His character is supposed to make you feel uncomfortable, to give you a feel of what it must have been like for Bradley Cooper to grow up in that house, and De Niro certainly does this. Although, no matter what he does, I kind of can’t take him seriously when he makes this face. Jennifer Lawrence is a brick house. Mighty, mighty just letting it all hang out. She does some dance moves in the movie that will make you squirm in your seat. And to top it all off she’s really good and is getting some Oscar chatter of her own. In fact, just about everybody in this movie, and the movie itself, are getting some serious run right now. I think it’s missing something and even though I can’t quite decide what that something is I’m going to stick by my statement. There just wasn’t that feeling at the end like I just saw the movie of the year. I’ve got no beef with this movie and I think it deserves all of the praise it’s gotten and will continue to get, but it comes up just short with a bit of a rushed ending. I would have liked a little more progression from Cooper’s character towards the end. That falls more on the writers than on Cooper, who, like I said, kills it.  
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