Redemption from dysfunction

Silver Linings Playbook deals with loss, mental illness and love in one of the most unique romantic films of 2012.


Tyler Davis, Writer

It is time to return to everyone’s favorite biweekly movie rental column. In honor of Valentine’s Day, a romantic film seemed in order, so this week’s edition presents “Silver Linings Playbook.” The film follows Pat Solatano Jr. (Bradley Cooper) just after his release from a mental health facility, where he went to deal with his bipolar disorder. Pat returns to Lansdowne, Pennsylvania where he lives with his mother and his football-obsessed father. He is determined to put his life back together and reconcile with his wife Nikki, who filed a restraining order against him after he nearly beat a man to death after finding him with Nikki in the throes of infidelity.

Through a friend, Pat meets the recently widowed Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) and the two begin an eccentric friendship, as both of them have mental-health issues. Pat learns that Tiffany is acquainted with Nikki and strikes up a deal with her. Pat will write letters to Nikki and Tiffany will pass them on if Pat agrees to enter a dance contest with her. And as I am sure you guessed, a quirky romance begins to blossom between the two. Thus we have our story.


The film does a beautiful job of showing two people commiserating in their different forms of loss, and it also portrays the difficulty of supporting a close family member who struggles with a mental disorder. In this film we see the importance of solid relationships in healing.  

Both Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence act excellently in these offbeat roles and make their characters quite believable. Though Lawrence is definitely on the younger side, the maturity of her acting shines through, giving their relationship a sense of realism.

If you are looking for a more darkly comedic and unique romantic film this Valentine’s Day, “Silver Linings Playbook” might be the film for you. A unique story, good message and excellent performances make this film enjoyable and ultimately heartwarming.

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