Silver Linings Playbook (2012) Review

I went to see this mostly because of all the buzz I have been hearing about it, and partially because I had a free ticket voucher with Regal that was expiring on the 5th of December.  With all these no pass restrictions, I knew I needed to use it up soon, and why not on a movie that I wasn’t too sure about?

Now that I’ve seen it, I will say that I don’t think it quite lived up to all the hype for me.  I can see where the appeal is for diehard Eagles fans (as well as the whole connection between finding your “silver lining” and sports playbooks), and I also thought Jennifer Lawrence did well here.  On the whole though, I didn’t really see anything special that really made me feel like this movie was going to stand out in my mind in ten or twenty years.

The plot being a romance revolving around two individuals struggling with mental illness might make for a cute and quirky story, but it just didn’t work for me.  Of course, it could be that I’m just a little biased.  It’s not something I talk about often, but one of my parents actually struggles with what Bradley Cooper’s character has.  I’ve watched them have their romance with someone who is also struggling with a mental illness, and believe me, it was nothing at all like the movie portrayed.  Sure it’s a cute idea, the whole notion that two wrongs make a right, so to speak, but to me this movie was a lot of wishful thinking.

I also can’t say that the story wasn’t predictable.  I think based on the trailers and even from just looking at the movie posters, it’s already easy to guess who the audience is supposed to be rooting for.  The lack of screen time and character development of certain characters also makes it seem even easier to make that choice.

And it’s odd, but for some reason parts of the movie reminded me of George Clooney’s The Descendants (2011).  Maybe it was all the running, which kind of reminded me of the scene in The Descendants where Clooney is running down a street after finding out about his wife’s infidelity while she’s in a vegetative state.  I guess the whole theme of dysfunction too.

The beginning is more solid than the end, or at least I thought so.  Then again, I always tend to like comedies better when the scales are tipped more towards funny than serious.


I think for me this movie was one of those bandwagon movies where it seems like everyone loves it just because they’re told to love it, and if you don’t, then you’re totally missing something profound.  Admittedly, those kinds of movies (or even books) make me a little uncomfortable only when there seems to be some secret blacklist that people can get on if they’re not with the majority, not so much because of the negative feedback towards their differing opinions, but more because then this environment seems to get created where differences in opinion are just “not allowed.”  Anyway, I digress.  If my lack of overwhelming praise for this movie makes me part of the minority, then so be it.

18 responses to “Silver Linings Playbook (2012) Review

  1. I completely get where you’re coming from here (I haven’t seen this yet, but it’s on my list.)
    With much ‘hyped’ movies, I tend to let it all die down before I watch (saw AVATAR 1 year after it’s release) otherwise I’m not judging the movie for itself, I’m comparing it against the hype and other outside influences… which severely dilutes the viewing experience, in my opinion anyways.

    It seems like that’s what happened here for you.
    The problem I have (without seeing this yet) is that these types of dark horse, quirky movies are becoming formulaic and a genre or their own… taking away from what initially, made them great.

    Just a general observation….

    • You make a point, and perhaps that did have something to do with it. At the same time, I wasn’t all that intrigued from the trailers either, even prior to its wide release and before I started to hear things about it. So I think it was more of a combination of the two. If it makes any sense, when I hear a lot of buzz around a movie, it gets me intrigued, but the expectations are usually my own. I walked into this one with just the general hope that I would find it mildly entertaining at the very least, since I had heard so many great things about it. Unfortunately, I found myself a little bored.

      Not sure when you plan on seeing it, but I’ll definitely be on the lookout for your review of it. Regardless of how I feel about what I see, I still like to hear other opinions. I don’t usually end up changing my mind, but I enjoy taking a peek at how a movie is viewed from a different pair of eyes. 🙂

      • Ah ok, I understand. I’m the same way, however, at times it’s unavoidable to have expectations. e.g.: after this conversation, I’ll view this movie differently. lol.

        But I try to be as objective as I can. I think that’s all anyone can do. After Movember, I’ve got a huge backlog of new movies to catch up on. It should be up in a few weeks.

        I like your reviews, since they usually provide a perspective different from conventional reviews. Keep it up!

      • Haha, that’s good to hear! And yes, I try to be as objective as possible too. You know what would have been great for Movemeber though? I don’t know if you did it, but Aaron Johnson has an amazing stache going on in Anna Karenina, lolol.

        I forgot to respond to one part of your last comment though, I just now realized. I think the funny thing about Hollywood or anything that goes mainstream really, is that once one thing catches on, suddenly we get a whole flood of the same thing for a little while.

  2. I’m usually in the same boat about not liking movies that it feels like I’m pressured into liking (The Squid and the Whale is a perfect example of this), and I definitely understand why you didn’t enjoy this one. I myself found myself in the same mindset about halfway through, but the ending improved my mood quite a bit for some reason.

    • I found the ending to be kind of obvious by the time we reached it, but I can see how it would lift your spirits a bit. It’s nice and sappy, and I think it was appropriate. I think if they had gone for a sad ending, I might have felt even more disappointed with the whole movie because then I would have probably walked out of the theater feeling like I really wasted my time.

      Sometimes I do end up liking movies that are hyped up, like Inception for example. Although that one I had watched before I had heard too much about it and I just happened to hear all the high praise afterward. There’s also other movies that I know I’ve seen that had a lot of positive feedback like this one and I ended up agreeing with the consensus after having watched it myself. Silver Linings, however, just happens to be one of those where I find myself going against the current, so to speak.

  3. hmmmm I was itching to see this as I had heard it had some oscar buzz. Now maybe I can hold off a bit as I still have to see Lincoln and Django.

    Glad that you got to see this one for free 😉

    • Thank you, I will be sure to check that out right now. It’s nice to know that there’s at least one other person out there who feels the same. Glad to meet you by the way, and thanks for stopping by.

      Also, glad to hear about the referral. I think it’s fair to say that Adam is a big reason why a lot of people seem to wander into my little corner of the Internet. 🙂

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