Jennifer Lawrence is the golden girl right now. She has proven that she can go from dystopian heroine in The Hunger Games, to terrified teen in the House at the End of the Street. Now, her talents are ploughed into something entirely different, in a complex mental health romance, alongside Bradley Cooper, in Silver Linings Playbook.
The movie follows Pat (Cooper), a bipolar man recently released from a stint in hospital, befriending a quirky widow, Tiffany (Lawrence), who has also struggled with her own mental health. The premise is fairly simple, and yet also quite original. Mental health crops up in a few films, such as Girl, Interrupted, Shutter Island and A Beautiful Mind, but this angle is new. Reviews so far have been very mixed. Which may be due to what sounds like a confusing work place. "There's almost no structure to working on this movie, no shell you can go into," Lawrence said, the LA Times reports. Though she qualified this by saying: "Bradley and I were completely vulnerable the entire time." Cooper added, "We didn't think in terms of takes. We thought in terms of interactions."
The New Yorker was scathing, describing it as "Pretty much a miscalculation from beginning to end." And the Daily Telegraph described it as "a wolf in sheep's clothing" which "Might at first look like proper cinema red in tooth and claw, but underneath [is] a bundle of matted fleece and bleating." Rolling Stone completely disagrees, saying: "Tinged with shadows and ignited by Lawrence and Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook raises the bar on romantic comedy. It's crazy good." But amidst these polemical views is the Guardian, which likes the movie but is in no way gushing. "This is a date movie that doesn't offer the sophistication it thinks it does, but is as enjoyable and good-natured as the genre requires." It was released in the UK and USA yesterday, Nov. 21st 2012.