March 19, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro

I was really late to the party on this movie - I know it. I remember initially mocking it when I saw the previews because I couldn't possibly imagine pairing the chick from The Hunger Games with Bradley Cooper. But I've got to say, it worked. Between the dark eye make-up, sullen facial expressions, and sarcasm, I felt like she was a real adult (which is ironic, really, since I'm pretty sure every teenage girl embodies those exact three characteristics). Anyway, she was pretty good. Still not Oscar Best Actress good, but good enough to forget how disappointing The Hunger Games was. (That feeling, sadly, will dissipate when Catching Fire is released later this year and will probably continue its downward trend through the ill-conceived notion of four movies. Damn you, Harry Potter, for starting that trend!)

Bradley Cooper, on the other hand... I never thought I'd see him as an Oscar contender (not that Wedding Crashers and The Hangover weren't quality movies), but Hollywood really loves people who can act crazy. And he does an excellent job of it - I really felt like he was a ticking time bomb in the movie, ready to freak out at any moment. (Then again, I've known quite a few people like this in real life, so maybe it's not that hard to portray.)

I realize that I am partial to both romantic comedies and movies with depressing topics, so that probably accounts for my total infatuation with this movie. Even after all the Oscar hype, I still managed to be impressed by how much I enjoyed the movie. It had everything that encompasses a good movie - a real plot, characters than can make you experience a range of emotions, and a little something different than keeps it from becoming completely formulaic. This movie is quirky and endearing in the way that Juno was (that unfortunately allowed Diablo Cody to continue writing movies), but for a slightly older demographic. It also has the added benefit of not starring Michael Cera (how many movies must we be subjected to that cast him as a geeky, awkward teenager?).

This is the type of movie that has you actually rooting for the characters. Maybe it's the surrounding sports theme, but at times, I felt as inspired as the Notre Dame crowd cheering for Rudy to make it into the game (ok, maybe not quite). I find myself frequently hoping certain characters would die, so I'll take my wanting everyone to survive is a sign. And it was nice to watch a movie where you genuinely like the main characters (ahem, Denzel, ahem, Flight). 

Final word: I liked it even more than Argo.

p.s. Jennifer Lawrence's body looks amazing in this movie - it actually made me feel a little bad for sitting down, eating candy throughout the movie instead of working out or something.

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