Silver Linings Playbook Blu-ray Review

Somehow, David O. Russell made a movie about a man suffering a mental breakdown following his wife’s infidelity who starts a relationship with a woman that sleeps around after her husband dies and that same man has to deal with a  father that suffers from a serious gambling addiction.  But he didn’t make a serious drama or a horror movie, instead, he made a romantic comedy-drama.  But as good as SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK sometimes is, its conflicting serious undertones and lighthearted presentation are what prevent it from ever being a great film.

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook

After walking in on his wife having an affair with a coworker, Pat (Bradley Cooper) suffers a mental breakdown and is institutionalized.  We pick up with Pat upon his release and in an effort to try and welcome him back, his friends set him up with Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence).  Tiffany has problems of her own and has recently been fired from her job for sleeping with all of her coworkers.  Pat is desperate to win his wife back and when he learns that Tiffany might be able to deliver a letter to his ex-wife for him, he agrees to help her win a dance competition in exchange for her help.

Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook

The beauty in the film lies in the performances from Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence with the former proving he’s more than just a pretty face or an action star.  If you weren’t sure about his abilities as an actor, then SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK should quiet any concerns you might have.  He’s a great actor and he proves it consistently here.  Jennifer Lawrence proved her acting ability in WINTERS BONE, but she picks it up as Tiffany, winning a much deserved Academy Award for her performance.  By the time you get to supporting players like Robert De Niro, Jackie Weaver and even Chris Tucker, they become the icing on the proverbial cake.  Together, the incredible cast more than makes up for all of the film’s shortcomings.

Jennifer Lawrence in The Silver Linings Playbook

Admittedly, the dance competition was hard for me to get behind and maybe I’ve been jaded with pre-teen fare like ‘Glee’ and PITCH PERFECT, but I felt the whole idea was predictable and beneath the film.  All of the characters in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK are so detailed and fascinating that having the film end with a big dance number just didn’t do the film justice.  For half a movie, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is a smart, sophisticated romantic comedy with adult characters that have real problems.  But then they start dancing and I couldn’t shake the feeling that we had just regressed as a film.  Like everyone in the audience, I wanted the characters to get together at the end, I just wish they had done it without the Hollywood ending.

The Silver Linings Playbook 1

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is an extremely efficient film, excelling in every category a movie can excel in.  The direction is great, the script is well written and the performances are all award worthy.  But it’s also a bit predictable and the film never fully explores the great characters it sets up.  Throw in a final act that would feel more in line with a Reese Witherspoon rom-com and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK falls into the good-but-not-great category.

BLU-RAY REVIEW

Video:  SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK looks gorgeous on Blu-ray.

Audio: The audio in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is equally impressive.

Silver Linings Playbook

Deleted Scenes (26:14): Deleted scenes are one of my favorite special features, but very seldom do they ever do anything for me.  These would be the exception since they’re actually pretty decent and could have easily been inserted into the final film.

Silver Linings Playbook: The Film that Became a Movement (28:37): This is a grand title for a featurette that’s basically your typical making-of feature.

Q&A Highlights (26:58):  This is a hodgepodge of various Q&A sessions with the cast and crew.  I like the format, but there wasn’t a whole lot of new information here.

Dance Rehearsal (1:20):  Behind the scenes dance rehearsal footage with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.

Learn to Dance Like Pat and Tiffany (11:45):  ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ vet and the film’s choreographer Mandy Moore teaches you how to dance like Cooper and Lawrence.

Going Steadicam with Bradley Cooper (00:57): Bradley Cooper pretends he’s a cameraman.

OVERALL 3.5
VERDICT:
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