By Melissa Kelley WCPL cataloging supervisor
Looking for a little entertainment this weekend away from the heat? Why not come and peruse the video collection at the Warsaw Community Public Library? If you’re not quite sure about what to choose, have I got a film for you … Silver Linings Playbook.
Every now and then a movie comes along that works on nearly every level and blows you over. For me, Silver Linings Playbook was one of those movies. When I first sat down to watch this movie I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as I settled in, I began to recognize parts of my life in this story and could relate to its characters.
Set in Philadelphia, the movie shows Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) returning home from a stint in a mental institution after a domestic incident with his ex-wife highlighted his struggle with bipolar mood swings. Pat moves back in with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver) as he tries to get his life back together in order to reunite with his ex-wife. However, things get very interesting when Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a young woman with issues of her own.
At heart, this is a film about mental illness and its effects on everyday life. It shows how sometimes we are left with the task of putting our lives back together and starting over, and probably not for the last time. It’s about dealing with unemployment, failed relationships, feeling like we don’t fit in, the “older-than-our-years” wisdom that we acquire from years of suffering, dealing with our demons through doing “a lot of therapy,” the long list of medications we have tried as we look for something that works and learn to accept the side effects.
The film explores the realization that we are not the only ones with issues. Instead, we are all in the end just human beings and everyone around us is struggling with something and that we all have our strengths and weaknesses. The movie suggest that we just need to find that “silver lining” to get through life.
This film is good medicine for anyone who deals with the ups and down of mental illness. It is ultimately a joyous affirmation of life’s possibilities. And who doesn’t need a little of that?