Monday, February 4, 2013

Late to the Game - Silver Linings Playbook

I know this movie has been out for a while but we just got around to seeing it this weekend, as part of Super Bowl Weekend! (Yeah, right.  That and I had a free movie coupon).  With the nominations and award wins the film had picked up, we really did want to check this one out.

And it had something to do with a bipolar guy.

Normally I check out movies before, getting some idea of people in it and plot but this time I just knew Bradley Cooper was bipolar. I just sat munched my popcorn (I can not watch a movie in a theater without popcorn - even the dullest documentary), sipped my root beer, and let the story roll.

Not my place to give away the plot, but I will say the performances are sensational, especially Cooper and Mr. DeNiro.  Jennifer Lawrence, as Cooper's love interest, is sensational.  I knew her only from The Hunger Games and there she was somewhat held back by the popularity of the books by Susan Collins.  Playing icons has its down sides.  Ask everyone who's played Batman. 

So a few scenes.  The one that struck my wife and had her whispering to me was the group therapy meeting when Pat (Bradley) was still institutionalized.  Chris Tucker (who some may know from his cop buddy films with Jackie Chan) steals the scene with his manic portrayal of how his hair has been cut. The reactions of the group are familiar to anyone whose even been at a meeting in their business.  There are 1.) the Showoffs, 2.) the This is a waste of timers [normally with folded arms and rolling eyes], 3.)  the Eager Beavers [ready to demonstrate their value], and 4.) the Sleepers.  Mr. Tucker returns as a running gag through the film, showing Pat how the institution in Baltimore has set him free.  But back to the therapy scene.  My wife whispered "Is this what your group is like?"  There normally being no more than 6 in my group, its a bit difficult to hide in the categories above.  You actually have to listen.  This is not a great trait of we bipolar, as far as I know.  If we're listening, we're only pretending to as we really want to talk about us, so please shut up soon because I need to talk about how Ernest Hemingway ruined a Farewell to Arms with the stupid ending.

This consumes Bradley early on in his crusade to get his wife back.  He would wake his parents at 3:00 a.m. to rant about Mr. Hemingway.  My wife asked me if I ever did that (rant). I did my ranting at work, doing the best I could to gear down on the way home, even if I needed to drive home slow. I yelled, leaped all over the office furniture, threw baseballs into walls for hours ( a rubber ball, but still...)

Another scene that struck home was Pat and Tiffany compare drugs they are on. As they rattled off the prescriptions, I wanted to put my hand up right in the movie theater. Yep, on that one. That one!
Really? Bloating? Oh, yeah! Klonopin!  My favorite!

I'll leave the story line there except to note that the Eagles win and everyone dances, or some people win and the Eagles do well enough. See for yourself.  The Oscars may grant this film more awards, but for this of us of a certain mental persuasion, its just nice to see crazy people treated on the big screen with the respect and compassion all of us deserve.  These guys should meet Carrie from Homeland.  On second thought, only if everyone is on their meds, and seeing their doctor (even if its only at the game - movie reference [Indian Eagles!]).  Silver Linings Playbook is rated R, mostly for language and some violence, and bad dance moves.
The movie is based on Matthew Quick's 2008 novel of the same name.
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                                                            Bipolar Disorder Information

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