Silver Linings Playbook (2012) Directed by David O. Russell
As I get older, I see myself turning into one of those grumpy men that rages at everything. I constantly fume and am enraged by the callous outpouring of putrid vomit hoisted before me by a media that's more desperate than me to remain engaged. Everything is credible. From Daft Punk's soft rock snooze-athon to the latest Suomi Rock revival, from Royal approval to consumerist terrorism, where we just turn a blind eye to our own snivelling behaviour and actions. All is fair and it's ok to have a balanced, objective view on everything. I'm as weak willed and tired as everyone else. No, fuck that, I still have my own will. I will not accept this. In my own self-mythologising way, I'll rage against this mediocrity on behalf of everyone willing to just get along. I'll take the opposite view because it's time we stood up to just grudgingly accepting that everything is OK or good, and hey, everyone has their own opinion. WRONG. See what I mean, grumpy old man. Raging. Hulk mad. Don't make Hulk mad.
It was on the recommendations of many, that I heard Silver Linings Playbook was a good movie. That is was well written, exquisitely acted and more than worthy of my money and time. David O. Russell is a very 'clever' director and so on and so on. I mean, who can you trust if you cant trust the overwhelmingly rave reviews this movie got from the trade press? Initially, I felt the terrible music underplaying every scene was surely something I could ignore. Also, I tried to ignore the fact that Bradley Cooper, the most annoying self-satisfied actor working in cinema today, gives us a C-movie master class. Oscar winner (???!!!) Jennifer Lawrence is the best thing here, but really, it's not a special performance or very good. Robert De Niro is in Meet The Fockers form (yeah! fuckin' eh!)
But what really grates is Russell has no clue as to what kind of movie he's making. Is it comedy? If so, Russell, where are the laughs? You know, the real kind that makes your sides ache, not ones that just appeal to the adolescent in us all. Was this film a romance? It's pretty clear from watching this Russell thinks romance is dead. If this is drama, it passed me by. Silver Linings Playbook could be making a comment on mental illness. It could be clever like that and I'm just too dumb to miss the deep message Russell's picture is trying to get across. This was entertainment and disturbingly entertaining. As I watched this I realised I am dying and I have accepted Silver Lining Playbook into my life. I have given in to this. I could go all Johnny Rotten on you and tell you it's all about standards. But then I have to admit, giving myself into even contemplating this film means I don't have any. What about Hulk? He real angry now.
I was never really interested in this movie. Nick tried to recommend it to me some time ago and then in Tallinn he found it cheap and we ended up doing Silver Linings Playbook on the premise that it's a romantic story and relates to mental illness somehow. I like movies like One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest about mental illness, I think it's an important subject to take on in art; I also enjoy romantic films and generally like seeing everything through nerdy purple pink shaded lenses...but hey, Silver Linings... was a disappointment on all these fronts. Even Jennifer Lawrence's cuteness didn't save the film.
OK, I had one more preconception before I watched the movie: In my opinion Bradley Cooper is not cool. He's not sexy, he's not interesting and he's not even controversial in any known-to-anybody way. He is the most boring male-lead Hollywood has to offer. Lets begin with him then. Why on earth was he cast to play a role where he has to seem able to read books at hyper speed, have original thoughts and anger management issues? He cannot deliver. The only way they could convince us was to trick us by placing Robert De Niro (the classic maniac) as his father (kind of helped a little). In this paragraph it is also note-worthy that in 2013 it isn't intelligent to make a film about mental illness and base it on harsh stereotypes. It isn't funny and it isn't entertaining. It's uncomfortable for the wrong reasons.
Admittedly, I was very entertained at times. But in the same way that I am entertained almost daily during my personal Netflix watching time, when I devour the lowest of the low in 1990's romantic comedies or full-frontal-nudity-pictures from Spain. I am shocked to realize that this film was highly praised in the media everywhere. It's an Oscar-movie, because of Jennifer Lawrence. It's supposed to have some of the best qualities of last year's movies. To me it just looked un-cinematic, unimaginative, too obvious and teenager-friendly. That's it , I may just be too old.