Don't get me wrong. I quite enjoyed Silver Linings Playbook. However, something about it left me cold. A lot about it. Maybe it was the utter lack of chemistry between the leads. Lawrence had more chemistry with Chris Tucker in their brief dancing bits and Cooper had more chemistry with his bed.
Don't actors learn to act with their eyes anymore? Both Cooper and Lawrence pulled the faces but I didn't feel the emotions coming from inside them. Does that make sense? Probably not, but against something of a masterclass from Robert De Niro and, particularly, Jacki Weaver as Cooper's parents it made for a somewhat hesitant watch.
It's a "dram-rom-com" that tries to suggest we're all a bit crazy, ho ho ho, but we can still love and be loved, we just have to move forward, face the truth (whatever the fuck that is) and take responsibility. It has moments of sweetness and "truth" (mainly in the medium of the uncensored - because they're crazy y'all - protagonists asking and revealing to each other crazy bald facts about their crazy lives) but something about it fell short and flat. I certainly have to wonder about the calibre of other performances in the main acting Oscar categories if these two are being jizzed over in the press.
That said, they're not awful, far from it. They're quite engaging, and Lawrence tries really hard to be a grown up, it just comes across that she's "trying" rather than "being". I do think she's going to get better as she gets older. By the time she's Weaver's age she may well have acquired those righteous acting chops too. Cooper was better than a plank of wood (his usual M.O. which is often to do with the films he chooses - no one does Face like Dirk Benedict, bitches*) He's eloquently hyper but his swift turnaround from manic instability to calm realisation didn't work for me. That said, enlightenment can sometimes hit you like a freight train, even if you're all crazy and shit. So okay, I thought, I can swallow that ... but then his dead eyes drained my remaining sympathy like a catheter. Come on man.
I want to say good things about this film but, if I'm honest, I found it bordering on patronising wankfest (and not in the fuzzy tingle times way). I'd say something cavalier about better performances or maybe casting for the leads saving the day ... but the saccharine yackydah of the convenient ending you can see coming a mile away - while potentially satisfying for the rom-com crowd - pinches my ball sac.
5/10 - for Weaver, DeNiro and Tucker.
*That fucking A-Team film. Have people no goddamned shame?