Silver Linings Playbook

  • Review Date: November 13, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 122 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Offbeat dramedy mixes light and dark; some intense moments.
  • Review Date: November 13, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 122 minutes

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 
Academy AwardGolden Globe

What parents need to know

Positive messages

No matter what your baggage is -- mental illness, past relationships, anger, a dysfunctional family -- you can find love (and yourself) if you commit to the journey.

Positive role models

The characters here are all very flawed, damaged, or both, and they make plenty of poor decisions. But they're also good-hearted, and, in the end, they try to do what's right for them and others. Pat's parents care a lot about him, even if they don't always know how to handle him. A tailgating scene includes some racist behavior, but it's clearly considered wrong/out of line.

Violence

Talk of how one character beat up someone in a shower, and, in quick flashbacks, viewers see it happen (the bloody scenes go quickly and in a haze). The same character also has sudden angry outbursts that lead to yelling, tension, and damage; he throws an object through a glass window, abruptly knocks over a magazine stand at a doctor's office, and even gets into a fistfight with his father after knocking his mother down during one of his episodes. A fight erupts at a football tailgate party, and people are arrested.

Sex

Quick glimpses of a naked couple in a shower; we see them kissing, and her torso/breasts are visible. A woman discusses her sexual history/conquests. Two characters share a passionate kiss. A woman is shamed for her sexual past. Lots of tight/revealing costumes during a dance competition.

Language

Frequent but not incessant use of words including "f--k," "s--t," "damn," "a--hole," "slut," "d--k," "c--k," "hell," "bulls--t," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation)," "oh my God," etc. Characters display raised middle fingers.

Consumerism

Brands/products seen on screen or mentioned include Budweiser, Apple (iPods, laptops), Raisin Bran, and Pampers. There's also a lot of talk about the Philadelphia Eagles football team; characters are shown wearing their paraphernalia.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking (wine, beer), mostly socially. In one scene, a woman goes to a bar with the clear intention of overindulging but doesn't get that far. Two characters catalogue the prescription medications they've tried. Some scenes show a man taking his meds.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although Silver Linings Playbook is an offbeat, affecting dramedy with many comedic moments and one-liners, the story it's telling is really quite dark: It's about two people hampered by mental illness and despondence, respectively, who try to claw their way back to a semblance of normalcy and happiness. It's a romantic film in many ways, as well as a study on dysfunctional families and what makes them work in their own strange (and sometimes uncomfortable) ways. There are references to sex, violence, and gambling, as well as some upsetting scenes in which a character's anger bursts out of control, sometimes leading to physical confrontations (including one in which he knocks his mother down and ends up in a fight with his father). Flashbacks include glimpses of a bloody beating and a naked couple in a shower; there's frequent swearing ("f--k," "s--t," and more) and some social drinking.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Fresh off a stint at a mental institution after beating up his estranged wife's lover -- and discovering belatedly that he's bipolar, with mood swings and even delusions triggered by stress -- Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) is determined to win his spouse back. He's lost weight and has learned some healthy ways to cope with stress (including running), so he thinks he has a shot. But his aggrieved mother (Jacki Weaver) and cautious father (Robert DeNiro), who lost his job and is moonlighting as a bookie, aren't so sure. Enter Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), the sister-in-law of Pat's best friend. She's nursing her own wounds, having abruptly lost her cop husband and then drowning her sorrows by sleeping with everyone she knew. She wants a fresh start, too, and enlists Pat in a project that could mean turning a corner for both of them. But emotions soon get in the way, clouding their path.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There are plenty of reasons to count your blessings if you watch SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK. The story, to start (which was adapted from Matthew Quick's novel of the same name). Offbeat and irreverent, it unfolds in a way you won't be able to predict, a gift in an industry that's propelled by far too much predictability. Casting Lawrence, DeNiro, and even Cooper (though he's not flawless) was also a stellar call.

The movie is refracted through Pat's prism, so it's sometimes jangly and bipolar. Like Pat, it's interesting, if a little abrupt in its mood shifts. And the second half is much more intense and compelling than the first half, plot-wise. Silver Linings' quirkiness is endearing, but sometimes, it feels a bit like it's straining to be different -- like it longs for the devil-may-care air of European or Australian romantic dramedies but can't quite get there. If it settled in and relaxed, it would be hard to match. As it stands, Silver Linings Playbook comes with much to recommend it, but, also like Pat, it has to work a little too hard to prove itself.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays mental illness. Does it cast a positive or negative light on the mentally ill? How does it compare to other movies and TV shows you've seen on the topic?

  • Is this film a romantic comedy? Why or why not? How does it turn the genre on its head?

  • Talk about Pat's breakdown and return to his family. Is his re-entry into regular life believable? Why does his family put up with his eccentricities?

  • Are the characters admirable? Are they meant to be?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 16, 2012
DVD release date:April 30, 2013
Cast:Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro
Director:David O. Russell
Studio:Weinstein Co.
Genre:Drama
Topics:Book characters, Misfits and underdogs
Run time:122 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and some sexual content/nudity
Awards:Academy Award, Golden Globe

This review of Silver Linings Playbook was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byMoviedudde18 November 30, 2012
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

SLP

Fantastic movie. 2nd best film of 2012 so far- 1: The Perks of Being a Wallflower 2: This 3: Looper 4: Wreck-It Ralph 5: Moonrise Kingdom 6: The Master 7: Seven Psychopaths 8: Argo 9: Skyfall 10: Beasts of the Southern Wild Honorable Mentions- The Dark Knight Rises, ParaNorman, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Jeff Who Lives at Home.
Teen, 16 years old Written byBestPicture1996 January 6, 2013
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Cooper and Lawrence shine bright in dark places

This (mature, with very strong language) movie had me cheering by the end. An original story of two misfits finding gradual love with each other and getting better as it goes along is infinitely touching. Lawrence, extremely sexy, shedding her "Katniss" persona completely, makes a lovably stubborn leading lady to Cooper's troubled protagonist. De Niro also is great as a father who just wants the best for his son, but can't quite show it through his die-hard Eagles superstitions overshadowing everything in his life. And even though he adds almost nothing to the plot, I really loved Chris Tucker's small but comical role.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bybuzzybee January 13, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

AMAZING

I watched this film and me, being clinically diagnosed as bipolar type II, could really understand the fustration and bitterness in the film... however it is very mature and i would strongly advise a parent for a child under 13 to watch this before thier child does to see how their child could take it. in my opinion children under 15 wouldnt even know what the disorder is anyways.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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