Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Silver Linings

Yesterday we saw the film Silver Linings Playbook starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, a romantic comedy about two people who are dealing with issues of mental illness and grief who manage to overcome their pain and obsessions and develop a meaningful and healing relationship. The critics have, for the most part, loved this film and we enjoyed it as well. There is also a strong supporting cast.

Over the years Ruth and I have both addressed mental illness in our work, with clients and parishioners who are struggling to survive, let alone find "silver linings" in their lives. Many of the issues these two deal with were very familiar to us. The reckless behaviour which can erupt for those in pain. The denial which has a huge impact on the individual and the family members attempting to provide support. The strange dance with medication, which can both make mental illness more manageable but tends to flatten emotions, thereby making life seem less vibrant.

The film also explores the obsessive habits and emotional turmoil of those who are "normal' but somehow have managed to hold life together, after a fashion. Those sub-stories of the friends and family of the two main characters are intriguing.

I won't spoil the ending, but there are silver linings in this story. Is this a terrific film? Nah. Is it worth seeing? Definitely.

Have you heard about this film? Does it intrigue you, or does the notion of a movie which explores mental illness turn you off?

Can there be an "artful" way of pondering climate change?


IanD said...

I have an interest in this film, although I must admit that I first noticed it because someone actually praised Bradley Cooper in an film review, for once!

If I look at how far the general public's acceptance of other groups/issues has come in the last few decades, I feel that the entertainment industry has played a role. Programs like "Ellen" (and her subsequent talk show) as well as "Will & Grace" made it okay to accept and discuss homosexuality. Perhaps a film like this (and others that may come) can get a similar discussion started on mental health.

Jonathan said...

The link above is my review of the film, David. Although it seems I enjoyed it slightly more than you did.

Laura said...

I liked it. Found it hard to know whether to recommend it to others though. Not a film that comes straight at you, but worthwhile. I quite like Jennifer Lawrence...the clips and bits of interviews I have heard...make her seem like a young Hollywood star a bit more worthy of the attention of her young fans.

David Mundy said...

Thanks to all three of you, and for the thoughts of those of you who have seen the film.

Don't get me wrong Jon, we enjoyed SLP, but it gets tangled up in its own feet around the "big game." That sidebar slowed the momentum and credibility of the storyline. Thanks for the review. Well done!