SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK directed by David O.Russell (USA, 2012)

After the sobering experience of watching Indonesian death squad leaders giving tips on how to kill communists in The Act Of Killing, I needed some light relief.

How about a nice Rom-Com?

I was cognizant of the fact that many films in this genre are simply not funny and most are plain dumb. Silver Linings Playbook, liberally adapted from a novel by Matthew Quick, is a welcome exception to this rule. It not only has a heart and soul but has a brain too.

The movie boasts a top class double act in the form of Bradley Cooper as Pat and Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany. Both have a history of mental instability and possess bags of energy but poor social skills – “I don’t have a filter when I talk” says Pat, who suffers from bipolar disorder.

Tiffany, a self-proclaimed “ex-slut” is convinced that “humanity is just nasty and there’s no silver lining”. Pat, whose motto is ‘excelsior’, believes that if you get in shape and stay positive, the breaks will come.

Sassy and plain talking, Lawrence is perfectly cast and has a genuine on-screen chemistry with the equally excellent Cooper. Great also to see De Niro in a role that acknowledges him as an actor rather than an icon.

One of my favorite scenes is Tiffany’s succinct synopsis of The Lord Of The Flies:

 The ending is a corny as hell but the fast-paced dialogue and first-rate ensemble acting up until then are so good that this is entirely forgivable.

A great movie.