Tuesday, December 04, 2012
So I went into his latest effort, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK holding my breath. The reviews have been excellent but so were the reviews for FLIGHT so those mean nothing. But happy to say I thought SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK lived up to its billing. David O. pulled it off. This is one of his good ones -- his very good ones.
There are some films you love from the Universal logo and others you need time to warm up to. The latter was the case for me. It’s a little long and we get that the lead character (played beautifully by Bradley Cooper) is bi-polar. Six meltdowns instead of twelve would have sufficed. But once the movie gets going it reels you in.
And why? Because Jennifer Lawrence is spectacular!
Also, credit to David O. for writing her such a killer part. (I should mention at this point that the film was adapted from the novel by Matthew Quick.) I always tell young scribes that when they write their great American spec screenplays always think of the actors. You’re never going to sell your spec regardless of how uber clever of is unless you have created exciting, memorable, original characters. And this film is bursting with them. Jennifer's, in particular, stands out. But so does Robert De Niro’s.
Oh... and honorable mention to Chris Tucker. He's what Tracy Morgan thinks he is but isn't in the same galaxy.
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK manages to juggle football, ballroom dancing, mental illness, romance, obsession, and Raisin Bran into one well-constructed satisfying motion picture. I heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good holiday love affair between two highly damaged individuals. And let’s face it, who doesn’t? The movie is billed as a comedy, and although it had more laughs than the Judd Apatow trailer, I would consider it much more a drama with some comedic overtones.
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is a terrific movie. Just don’t tell David O. Russell. If you think he was hard to live with before...
I know it's playing in Los Angeles and New York. Hopefully, it's in your town or will be soon. Here on Maui I expect it to open in 2014.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM