A surprisingly uplifting melancholic drama which pitches together two rudderless, emotionally damaged people into a partnership of convenience bringing much-needed stability to their chaotic lives.
Bradley Cooper plays former teacher Pat Solitano, whom we first meet standing alone in a corner talking to himself at the psychiatric hospital where he is a resident. It is safe to say, Pat has had a bit of a breakdown. He is estranged from his wife Nikki (Brea Bee), on account of her infidelity, and his pretty explosive meltdown when the adultery came to light.
The thing is, though, Pat feels better now – and his mum thinks so too – so against the advice of doctors, he’s released and returns to live with his mum and Pat Snr (his dad played by Robert De Niro) and starts the process of rebuilding his life and winning back his wife. The latter being complicated by the fact that she has taken out a restraining order against him – as too has the school where she works.
The comedy of this film is cruel but real. Pat is a complicated collection of behavioural ticks who fails to recognise personal boundaries or anything that doesn’t address his own personal needs – until that is, into his life wanders Tiffany (Lawrence), the young widow of a police officer, whose self destructive drinking and one-night stands have left her friendless and isolated from her family, and whom Pat co-opts in his mission to win back Nikki.
Film of the day: Silver Linings Playbook – 00.10 on Channel 4.