FILM

Silver Linings Playbook

Cert. 15

3/5 stars

High school teacher, Pat, (Bradley Cooper) has just completed a court-ordered stint in a mental institution after a particularly fraught split from his wife, when he moves back in with his parents who attempt to help him settle back into normality.

Pat's insistence that he can make it up with the woman who took him to court in the first place and an already strained situation with his family, especially his cripplingly superstitious dad (Robert De Niro), threaten to land him right back in the hands of the law.

The therapy and medication obviously aren't working but a chance meeting with a similarly damaged neighbor, Tiffany, (Jennifer Lawrence) finally seems to set the violent outburst prone, Pat, on the right path.

Leading couple, Pat and Tiffany, as well as being superbly written, are effortlessly performed by Cooper and Lawrence, the former of which is not known for his 'straight' roles but who matches Lawrence in his dry delivery that injects hilarity into what could have been an oppressively sad theme.

It's these performances, and those of the subtly strong supporting cast, which make you feel sorry for no-one, despite their glaring flaws, yet still will them to succeed.

A slick side-stepping of the usual rom-com schmaltz and a sports-heavy side-story should placate the half of the population that will be taken to see this in an escorting role.

Ashley Whittaker