Silver Lining Playbook (2012)|
Saw it recently. What a great script! It is not easy to make a romantic dramady on a couple of people dealing with mental illness. The young man is bipolar who cannot control his anger. But on his mostly manic stage, he is determined to be positive and to find the silver lining, even though he just got released from a institution after severely beating his ex-wife's boyfriend and currently have no job. The young woman recently just lost her husband from a car accident. She deals with her grief and loneliness by sleeping around. She obviously has major self-esteem issues... Such a pair of "losers" who are just bumbling along from one disaster to another... Yet both characters are smart and perceptive about the other. They also speak frankly, or very sassily (the young women) to each other. Their first conversation was about the medications they had taken. A very funny scene actually, but in retrospect, I realized that they were open and honest with each other, not hiding their shortcomings. This is a much more promising beginning than many well rehearsed first date.
de Niro plays the father with OCD and is obsessed with betting on football games. The mom is the only sane person in the family who had obviously been dealing with the OCD and bipolar behaviors all her life. She handles both gently and lovingly, but she knows when to say "don't do it!"
The script is so skillfully funny, it is sympathetic to all the flawed characters, and never feels like it's making fun of the mentally ill. Really it's another movie about the redemption of love, about flawed people finding the right other half, but the story is refreshing. It reminded me a little of the Secretary (2002).
So I highly recommend it.
But I do feel on the more rational side, mental illness is not so easily dealt with, as the movie shows. However, The movie has a great point of the importance of Honest relationships and a tight-knit community to the mentally ill.