A Movie Revisited: Silver Linings Playbook

When I saw the first trailer for Silver Linings Playbook last summer I was REALLY excited. It had everything that I usually love about a movie. A great cast, an awesome director in David O. Russell, and a storyline that wasn’t cookie cutter. As the release date approached I got even more excited because of the Oscar buzz and all the fanfare surrounding the performances of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. When an email for an advance screening dropped into my inbox I was overjoyed.

I waited in line for over an hour and ended up getting jammed into the last seat to the far right of the screen in the front row. I tried to stay positive but I was a little annoyed and probably not in the best mood when the movie started. During very tense moments in the story the majority of the audience was laughing. Laughing at things that I was pretty sure were not supposed to be funny. I left feeling like something was missing. I won’t say I was disappointed, but I definitely was not moved like I thought I would be. As time passed I intentionally took time to think about the movie. I wrote about it away from the blog and picked apart what I thought was not working for me. I realized that I held myself back from really diving into the story too much. I kept it at a safe distance and tried to be an objective viewer when what I needed to do was throw myself right into it. I think that is what Russell wanted too, because at times the camera seems to move as if the viewer is there in the situation. I was supposed to allow myself into their world. I was supposed to be in the dance studio with Pat and Tiffany. I needed to be sitting next to his dad while he watched Eagles. The second time I watched it I let myself be immersed in their world and the viewing experience was enhanced. As tears welled up in my eyes and my movie going companion asked if I was okay I found what I missed the first time around.

As I am still figuring out what it means to call yourself an amateur movie critic it is great to be reminded to let go of everything and let yourself get taken away by a story. I put Silver Linings Playbook in my top 10 of 2012 mostly in hopes that this would happen and I am very glad I did. If you want to experience a very honest and fresh portrayal of people and relationships than definitely go see Silver Linings Playbook.

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