“I just love real characters; they’re not pretentious, and every emotion is on the surface, they’re regular working people. Their likes, their dislikes, their loves, their hates, their passions; they’re all right there on the surface. “
-David O. Russell
The romantic comedy genre is perhaps one of my favorite genres of all time. Mostly because it is probably the hardest genre to do right. Do you know how many bad romantic comedies are out there? There’s too many. If you don’t do it right, your movie could fall into the dreaded “chick flick” category. Nobody wants that. Nobody wants their movie being shoved down boyfriends throats across America. That being said, when it IS done right, you get something totally beautiful and irresistible. A treat for everyone, and that’s why I am obsessed with it.
Silver Linings Playbook is one of my all-time favorite films. It’s just hard not to love. This is one of those movies where if I show it to you, and you for some reason don’t like it, I think that deep down you are a really lame person that should never be trusted in their taste in entertainment. I may say “Well, everyone has their own opinions,” but really I mean, “I am never watching a movie with you again.”
Why is it so good? It starts with writer/director David O. Russell’s extremely impressive screenplay. In the Hollywood Reporter’s director roundtable, Russell said how he grew up with a passion for books, and read stories constantly. It is not a mystery how he became such a talented writer. But one thing he said that has stuck with me personally as a storyteller, more than anything else, is when someone on set had asked him what a particular scene had anything to do with the advancing of the plot of the film. He replied with something like, “I don’t care about plot, I care about characters.”
And that is why Silver Linings Playbook works so well. It’s why I am such a big fan of all of his films. The characters are as 3D as they come. Silver Linings is one of those films where I call the people on the screen, Pat and Tiffany, not Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. They disappear into their characters. Not just because they’re brilliant actors, but because the story gives the characters incredible depth. The characters are very unique people, but at the same time, we can relate to them.
It also is a film with a very warm heart. It’s almost like a teddy bear. Whenever you stub your toe, wet yourself and start crying because you just “can’t even” today, this movie is there to help you be able to “even” again. And that’s why so many people are in love with it. That is why I am in love with it. People cling to stories about love, and hope. Optimism is like medicine. We really need it every now and then. And that’s why a small $20 million movie like this, killed it at the box office with $236 million, and still warms our hearts to this day.