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Saturday, 23 February 2013

The Reality of Silver Linings Playbook

In Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence play Pat and Tiffany, characters with extreme emotional frailties who find a "silver lining" - SPOILER: it's each other. 

In the tradition of every American romcom ever made, love wins out in the end, and everyone lives happily ever after. Except the writers forgot to include the epilogue where, a year later, Pat brutally murders Tiffany and one of her many lovers. Oh, that didn't happen? Sorry. I seem to have once again mistaken Hollywood for real life. Silly me. Because, you see... 

In reality, Pat and Tiffany's respective issues, when put together, are the dating equivalent of being chased by every deadly animal in Australia, while balancing a crate of  nitro-glycerine on your head and dodging flying bullets every few seconds. 

"But, Keagan, you miss the point. It's a silver lining, man. Don't you see? Why can't you just be happy for Pat and Tiffany?" 

Well, it's hard to be happy when there's every chance that Pat is going to be back in the psych ward in a year; and Tiffany is going to be either dead, or in hiding with an AVO against Pat. 

Think back. What was the reason for Pats admission to the hospital? He flipped his pancake and committed an extremely violent assault. Why? Because he caught his wife in the shower with another man. He beats up the showering Casanova to the gentle tones of Stevie Wonder; his wife then leaves him; and he winds up in the hospital. 

Tiffany's woes begin when her husband his hit by a car after buying women's lingerie. Because, hey, why the hell not, right? She spirals into a deep depression, which we learn about from her candid conversations to Pat. 

So how did Tiffany cope with this depression. How did she handle her loss?By banging the hell out of everyone at her workplace - men and women.  She is fired soon after. 

So, you have a woman who responds to stress and depression by spreading her legs for whoever is willing; and a guy whose reaction to being cheated on is to perform his own WWE shower smackdown. 

You can see how this is going to wind up. Add to that the conspicuous fact that Pat doesn't believe he needs medication; and Tiffany doesn't believe she needs therapy. 

All Tiffany needs is to be fired from another job, or for a family member to die, or some other stressful event, and she's back to being the town carousel. 

And we all know how well Pat would handle that situation. 

At least when he's back in the psych ward - Tiffany's blood stained dress in his arms, White Stripes playing on rotation - he can be confident in the knowledge that there's always a silver lining. There's just a whole of silver misery on top of it.   

   

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