Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings PlaybookCinema Monolith: 3/10 Film Reel
IMDb: 7.9/10
The Arizona Republic: ****½ out of 5

Released on December 25, 2012
Rated R
122 minutes

Directed by David O. Russell

Written by David O. Russell

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher, Dash Mihok, Brea Bee, John Ortiz, Shea Whigham, Paul Herman, Patrick McDade, Cheryl Williams

Though I’ll probably get beaten and flogged and possibly tasered for saying this, I might as well get it over with, and get right to the point: I did NOT like this movie. In fact, I thought it was one of the most irritating and obnoxious films I’ve ever seen, and the fact that it’s up for so many awards has me flat-out mystified.

For those of you still with me, here’s the story: Bradley Cooper plays Pat Solitano, fresh out of a mental hospital and living with his parents, who tries to reconcile with the wife who left him, to figure out the female acquaintance who suddenly takes a shine to him, and to understand his equally-disturbed father, a die-hard Eagles fan who resorts to illegal bookmaking to realize his dream of opening a restaurant. Not surprisingly, all of this was wrapped up in a tidy bundle by film’s end, at which time I threw a brick at the screen and banged my head repeatedly against the nearest drinking fountain.

I know I’ll be one of the few dissenting voices here (and worldwide, I’m sure), but in my opinion there are better ways to spend two long hours than with an annoying Cooper and his bipolar disorder, and a superstitious Robert De Niro and his gambling issues. The only person—the only person—I gave two flying leaps about was Jennifer Lawrence, who kept her fragile character grounded and honest, and thus made her worthy of our attention and time. She was the film’s saving grace, and along with the surprisingly well-played dance contest and heartfelt wrap-up, kept me from punishing this project with a one-star rating.

And though the acting was fine, and the camerawork of director David O. Russell acceptable, I found incredible fault with Russell’s screenplay, which to me seemed contrived, awkward, and to some extent, phony. If you want my opinion, unless you’re a fan of Jennifer Lawrence, I say skip this so-called romance comedy; otherwise, based on the thousands of honors that have already been bestowed upon it, I may be the wrong person to listen to when you make your decision regarding Silver Linings Playbook.  (3/10)

Silver Linings Playbook - photo night

6 comments on “Silver Linings Playbook

  1. Tyson Carter

    I haven’t seen this, but am so looking forward to it. You’ve given the most negative review I have seen yet, but it still doesn’t deter me. Everything else I have read has said the opposite, but that’s what this is all about; opinions 🙂 Appreciate what your saying Todd, but in the nicest possible way I really really hope I disagree with you when I finally see it 😛


    • Todd Benefiel

      No sweat, Tyson, you’re always free to disagree on my site…as long as it’s not with me! 🙂 Seriously, I think you will be disagreeing with me on this one…so far I’ve only seen myself, David Denby of The New Yorker, and Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph write negative reviews. Maybe we were all having bad days!

      When you see it, and if you don’t review it on your own site, let me know what you thought!


      • Tyson Carter

        So you know my thoughts, and the guys with the padded van will be round for you shortly! This film was superb 😛


      • Todd Benefiel

        As long as the van has shag carpeting, paneling, and a waterbed on the inside, I’m cool with it!


  2. Popcorn Nights

    Enjoyed reading your review. This is one of those films where I have absolutely no clue as to whether it’ll really annoy me or pleasantly surprise me. I guess I’m intrigued enough to watch it now, but it’s nice to know that even if I hate the film as a whole it’ll be just about worth seeing for Lawrence’s performance.


    • Todd Benefiel

      Hey Stu, thanks for checking it out! You’ll have to keep me posted on your thoughts concerning this one…if you do hate it, you can join me in my very exclusive club! Every now and then a movie comes along that everyone loves, and I don’t (or vice versa); I think this is one of those movies.


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From the Monolith: 125

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