Movie review: Silver Linings Playbook.

Summary: I love this movie. If you watch the trailer and you think it looks good too, then watch the movie, because it’s as good as that.

Spoiler Scope: This review contains spoilers. Watch the movie first.

The movie is a fairly typical guy meets girl, there’s some ‘will they or won’t they’, conflict, and then a happy ending, romantic comedy. Except. Both boy and girl have mental conditions.

He has bi-polar disorder which leads him to act violently at times, and she… it’s not explicitly stated what her condition was from what I remember, but she would go through phases of self destructive behaviour, or act crazy at times.

What I liked about this movie, is that while keeping the tone fairly light hearted, it did touched on several real dynamics of managing mental illness.

For example there’s a whole scene of them discussing their triggers, and what they’ll do to manage themselves if they’re in a triggering situation. This is perhaps a dynamic that people unfamiliar with mental illnesses are aware of, and so it’s nice to shed some light on this subject in an otherwise fun and entertaining manner.

The movie challenged my values about a couple of things:

The father is a compulsive gambler, and there’s a scene toward the end of the movie where he’s making a gamble on the outcome of their pair’s dance routine. I was thinking, and the movie expressed ‘This is incredibly irresponsible, they shouldn’t be encouraging this behaviour’. But the movie went forward with it anyway, and got me thinking ‘Even if the behaviour is probably irresponsible, in larger contexts it can still be ok’.

The second is that the ex-wife has cheated on him, which is what initially triggered his event that caused him to be hospitalised. At first I’m thinking ‘What a bitch!’, and think of her as the classic antagonist. But actually – you realise, what you think of cheating aside, that it probably was really difficult for her to live with him, and undiagnosed bipolar case which the movie gives you hints that other incidents had been occuring before the main one. In my experience of it, the movie quite cleverly shows that there are two sides of the story, even though the side we’re mainly rooting for is the guy’s.

A major plot point of the film is that the couple are preparing for a dance routine. For people who dance regularly, this maybe be an enjoyable aspect of the movie.

Overall, if you’re in the mood for a laugh, this is a good movie to watch.

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