Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook

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The crux of my review is this: The happy ending cheapens the real mental problems Cooper and Lawrence have, but it’s irresistible all the same. In the film’s climactic sequence, the pair enters into a dance competition with high stakes. After losing a big bet to his Dallas Cowboys-loving friend, De Niro risks everything on a double-or-nothing wager that his Eagles will beat the Cowboys waaaaay above the spread and that Cooper and Lawrence will get at least a “5” from the judges, despite their questionable dancing skills. Needless to say, both things happen, there’s an eruption of excitement among everyone in Cooper’s personal orbit, and the long-simmering romantic tension between he and Lawrence finally surfaces in a very sweet ending. Here’s my trouble: While love can be a salve for old hurts, it seems to me that the mental instability of both characters is too easily cast aside for rom-com purposes. It’s not as if this union makes it unnecessary for Cooper to stay on his meds, but the film gives the impression that his and her erratic behavior is just a means to a conventionally satisfying end. It feels cheap. And also great.