'Silver Linings Playbook' Review: Glorious Rom-Com Minus the Clichés

'Silver Linings Playbook' Review: Glorious Rom-Com Minus the Clichés

Just back from eight months in a mental institution, to which he’d been consigned after pounding a guy he caught nude-showering with his wife, ex-school teacher Pat Solitano has returned home to Philadelphia to discover … that he has no home.

His estranged spouse, Nikki, has sold their house and obtained a restraining order to keep him away from her. Pat’s heavy bipolar issues–wild delusions and sudden rages–are still in full, scary effect, but he’s determined to win Nikki back. All it will require is working out, losing some weight, and thinking positive. (“I’m gonna take all this negativity and use it for fuel!” he announces to his dismayed parents, with whom he’s moved back in.)

Then he meets Tiffany, a sour young widow with plenty of issues of her own. (“I was a big slut, but I’m not anymore,” she tells Pat very early on.) Tiffany’s older sister is a friend of Nikki’s, and Pat, thinking positive, leaps at this opportunity to reestablish contact with his runaway wife. Tiffany might help, but she also needs a partner for an upcoming ballroom-dancing competition. Pat can’t dance, but Tiffany, in her cockeyed way, is thinking positive, too.

In “Silver Linings Playbook,” Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, playing Pat and Tiffany, demonstrate that rare thing, an onscreen chemistry that’s completely persuasive.

Read the full review at Reason.com