Philly, Football and Rooting for Silver Linings Playbook

Misfortune and a fake happy family bring Lawrence and Cooper together in Silver Linings Playbook

Misfortune and a fake happy family bring Lawrence and Cooper together in Silver Linings Playbook

David O. Russell’s Philly based adaptation of Matthew Quick’s witty and dramatic rom-com novel, Silver Linings Playbook, is exactly the type of misfit-misfortune-filled movie you want to root for.  It’s a film where, refreshingly, everyone is playing against type.

Bradley Cooper (a smug comedic performer I typically loathe) is in the lead role of Pat, a rage-fueled bipolar man who is freshly released from the loony bin after a violent incident with his wife’s lover.  Pat speaks in self-help platitudes, but there’s a sincerity in his desire to change as he dedicates himself to losing weight, keeping his anger in check, getting back his wife (delusionally so) and finding life’s silver lining.  Cooper, surprisingly, pulls it off, and one has to wonder if the Philly native saw this as his first opportunity to dig deep.  Cooper saw a moment in his career to make a change, and he took it.  It makes his character and performance extremely likable.

Jennifer Lawrence – who has made quite the name for herself playing tough teenage girls forced to grow up too fast to save their families in films like Winter’s Bone and The Hunger Games – is for the first time given the chance to play an adult as Tiffany, the damaged young widow of a cop who fumbles through her conflicted feelings and need for affection and friendship and forms an instant bond with Pat when they share unfiltered and awkward barbs about their predicaments and commiserate on their litany of medication diets that have thus far been unsuccessful in curing them of their brand of “crazy.”  Lawrence shines in the role and shows us a side previously unknown…playful, vulnerable, sassy, witty and darkly comedic.  Continue reading

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Talking Patrons Push Philly Filmgoer’s Button

CAPTION:  Columbus Blvd, here’s your fifteen minutes!

So as I’m reading up on reviews of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in preparation for a Sunday outing to go see the film, I came across the most curious piece of local news in a long while.

Apparently an angry filmgoer shot a man in the arm during a showing of the film at the United Artists Theater at Riverview Plaza on Columbus Blvd. in Philadelphia.  The shooter had earlier asked the man to quiet his talking son, and the boisterous family continued to make noise despite the request.  After most other patrons fled, the shooter remained in the now silent theater watching the film until the police arrived.  I guess that means the movie is really good!

While yet another shooting in my beloved Philly is nothing to write home about, the most curious piece of this case is the reaction from the public. 

The outcry has been clear:  BE QUIET IN THE MOVIE THEATER!

The American public is fed up with people who won’t shut up at the movies.

Also, wake up parents!  Don’t take your kids to movies like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button where they will be bored to death and act out.  There were plenty of other options for this family at Christmastime, so show some common sense, folks.

Of course I don’t condone shooting people–unless they were the Hollywood producers responsible for The Day the Earth Stood Still–but can we really blame the guy?  Perhaps they showed a preview of Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino in front of the film, and that gave the shooter the idea to be the ultimate bad-ass.

Meanwhile, I’ll be seeing the film in Jersey at a curious theater where people know how to be quiet, and no one will be carrying a gun.

Check out the local spin from the Philadelphia Inquirer.