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Bobby Martin Silver Linings Shines Family nuttiness, football madness, romantic obsession, and certifiable mental illness

coexist happily in Silver Linings Playbook a crazy beaut of a comedy that edges with generosity and manages to circumvent predictability at every turn. Silver Linings Playbook is based on a best-selling 2008 novel by Matthew Quick. Our damaged, bipolar hero, Pat Solatano Jr. (Bradley Cooper), first makes his entrance in a psych ward. He's been committed because he beat the crap out of a guy, though there were justifying circumstances: The guy was sleeping with Pat's wife, Nikki, who has since dumped Pat. This has sent Pat on a mission to win her back. In any event, when the precariously upbeat fellow is sprung from the bin by his doting mother he returns to the bosom of a Philly family that thrums with crazy as a way of life, much of it generated by Pat's father (Robert De Niro). Fixated on the family's favorite football team, the Philadelphia Eagles, and doing hit-or-miss business as a bookie, the old man employs a collection of superstitions and obsessive-compulsive behaviors to ''ensure'' his team wins. Whenever I see De Niro in a movie nowadays, I always picture him as an Italian mobster in movies such as, Casino or The Godfather. Years have passed since De Niro has looked so alive and fully engaged. With his obsessive compulsory disorder Pat Sr. wants to welcome back his son by spending quality time watching the Eagles play. Little does he know that Pat is not his good luck charm, but turns out to be the complete opposite. Cooper, meanwhile, has been having a hell of a career rise. We usually see Cooper as the comedian drunk like his role in The Hangover. But the sense of
Comment [RM3]: Try to make it clear that De Niro is Pat Sr. because he is introduced as Pats father Comment [RM2]: Maybe word this differently Comment [RM1]: Seems a little vague

personality wobble he brings to his portrayal of Pat is something new in his repertory, and it's a revelation. There's a look the actor gets in those clear blue eyes, something between a stare, a dare, and a cringe, that distills a whole mess of conflicting impulses and emotions into one appealing expression of vulnerability. And Cooper meets a singular partner in crime (and chemistry) in the fabulous Jennifer Lawrence, the girl on fire, who is glowing as Tiffany, a local young woman with issues of her own. Lawrence displays her complete arsenal with this Oscar worthy performance. She strays away from her star-crossed lover in The Hunger Games by showing her funny, witty, and dark side. She is rude, dirty, funny, foulmouthed, sloppy, sexy, vibrant and vulnerable, sometimes all in the same scene, even in the same breath (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone). Her role as Tiffany could not be any more perfect. She plays a mentally disturbed woman that has been traumatized over the death of her former husband. The scene that really stands out to me as an award winning performance is when Tiffany and Pat are on their first date at the local diner. After Pat says that she is crazier than him, she throws a tantrum. Somehow, in the story's loose, loopy trajectory, Tiffany and Pat learn to dance together I mean really dance, so they can enter a ballroom competition, with all that signifies for emotional connection. Yet in scenes of Pat and Tiffany rehearsing, doing flailing aerobic sprints down suburban streets, and squabbling with the special intensity of two people with unreliable filters, nothing about this crazy-boymeets-wacky-girl romance is what a moviegoer is cued to expect.
Comment [RM5]: I have not seen this movie but I dont see the flow of the plot. What happens to Nikki? Why does Pats father follow the Eagles? Comment [RM4]: A smoother transition here

This is a great start to your review. Your detail in describing characters gives the reader a great insight to their personalities. I know that you are writing this with the assumption that the audience has seen the movie (which I have not).