by Tony Medley
Nobody wants to
tell the viewing audience what this is about before they buy their
tickets. The synopsis by The Weinstein Company is completely silent
about the main theme, only saying that "Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper)
has lost everything - his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds
himself living back with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert
DeNiro) after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea
This implies that
Pat did not belong in the mental institution. In fact Pat is seriously
bipolar and probably shouldn't have been released from the institution.
The Weinstein Company goes on to say that this is just about Pat trying
to rebuild his life and get back together with his estranged wife.
That's not what the movie is about.
This movie is
about two people with mental illness that appears more serious than mere
neurosis trying to find love despite their illnesses. But it's not about
Pat's relationship with his wife, which is merely a McGuffin. The person
with whom he finds himself involuntarily getting involved is not Pat's
wife, but Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a girl he meets at a dinner
party. Tiffany, while not as disturbed as Pat, has her problems, too.
This is a dark
comedy about a serious subject. Cooper and Lawrence do themselves proud.
In addition to her outstanding performance, Lawrence displays a body
that was well hidden in The Hunger Games and Winter's Bone. In this film she is as
sexy an actress as one will see on the screen, especially when she takes
stage in a form fitting, steamy white outfit in the dancing finale.
directed by David O Russell, who also wrote the script based on a novel
by Matthew Quirk. Although overly long for a romcom, this is not your
garden variety romcom because it tackles a serious subject in an
entertaining manner. There are some real laughs. The dialogue is
sometimes as quick as the dialogue between George Segal and Glenda
Jackson in A Touch of Class (1973), the first third of which is
among the funniest films of all time.
Cooper gives a
fine performance in a difficult role, but the one who really shines is
Lawrence, who should be up for awards for this one. She nails it.