Through about the first half of Silver Linings Playbook (now in theaters), I was mildly entertained and content with the growing expectation of good things unfolding as the movie progressed. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are players in a story with a depth somewhere between Three’s Company and a typical Frasier episode, spread out to a full 2 hours. Likable characters and a certain marginal cinematic quality elevate it a little over a television sitcom, but barely. I am not phrasing that correctly. There are some very good sitcoms out there that might take offense.
I just confirmed on IMDb that the catchy and popular song used to promote this movie, “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers, is never used in the movie. These guys should be sued for perjury as far as I’m concerned. That really steams me. I’ve never heard of a movie being so heavily promoted with a piece of music that has zero connection to said movie.
Now, the talk of Oscar acting nominations is surprising. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence do, I think, what the short-sighted filmmakers ask of them, but that equates to nothing at all exceptional. Even Robert DeNiro is boring and wasted in the cardboard cut-out role he’s given; his spin in Meet the Fockers is high art compared to this.
The more I’ve thought about this movie, the more I dislike it. Contrived, artificial, one-dimensional characters and story contribute nothing of lasting value. Silver Linings Playbook is utterly forgettable, mildly entertaining pabulum, as lame as its lame title. Give it a year, nobody will remember this movie. Honestly, it could not even deliver a single “wow” scene that people can talk about. The good news? It’s not the worst of the year. 3/10.