Life was intended to have us play our roles and no matter how we lose the game there will always be a silver lining!
The film was based on the debut novel of Matthew Quick of the same name which was published on September 2, 2008. There had been pieces of the story that had strong influences from the Writer’s life in which he exclaims his love for the city’s American football team while trying to sway away from its publicity regarding betting and gambling.
A comedy-drama, directed and Screenplay was written by David O. Russell (Three Kings) he comes back from 2010’s “The Fighter” which won the Best Supporting Roles for both Actor and Actress. Like one of his quotes “There’s nothing better than an actor who is really, really hungry to show everything they’ve got.“ which was a very inspiring catalyst for all those who was taken in his wing and became winners not just for the movie industry but most of all for the audiences to venerate from.
Nominated and won numerous awards including Best Screenplay at the BAFTA’s, a Golden Globe for Best Actress and at the same time for the Oscar’s where a young lady achieved these accolades after trying to get back on her feet literally. While at the other side of the pond, there’s a familiar foot print the leading man walks where a few promising and talented actors like Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Leonardo Di Caprio, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Connelly and Jessica Chastain who have chosen lucrative projects that made them better performers throughout their careers.
A tale of a man with a bipolar disorder who was taken out from a mental health facility by his mother which she promised to make sure that her son will not cause any trouble and will be sheltered in their home. Pat Jr. played by the surprisingly diverse Academy Award Nominee Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) who wants to make things better and setting things right by being an optimist. As he sets out to fix his marriage and be able to actually see a “silver lining” in his miserable life after he witnessed his wife sharing a shower with a co-worker. Trying his best to vindicate himself, he starts to change his ideals by being more physically fit by jogging and reading books that his wife Nikki teaches for her students.
The least likely who was taken the bait by the Director because of her youth was Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) who was able to beat very well-known actresses for the title role like Rachel McAdams, Kirsten Dunst, Roonie Mara, Elizabeth Banks, Angelina Jolie and even Academy Award Winner for Best Supporting Actress Anne Hathaway who was tied up with “The Dark Knight Rises” at that point. The 21 year old bagged the part seeing that she has the needed eccentricity, spontaneity, smart, funny and at the same time being poker faced whenever the need arises!
She actually nailed the character Tifanny Maxwell who recently lost her husband after buying Victoria’s Secret lingerie and trying to help another man who was having some car problems. Escaping from all the depression, she tries to move on with life by having a shared dinner with her sister Julia Stiles (Mona Lisa Smile) as Veronica Maxwell, her husband and a well-expected guest…
We can say that life truly has its ups and downs and yet, there is nothing in the world that can replace the love and support of your family especially when you’re looking for your “wedding videos” at 3 AM in the morning or being upset by a certain author’s disposition for his love and commitment! (now apologise)
Supporting casts was headed by Robert De Niro (Meet the Fockers) who plays the Philadelphia Eagles zealot Pat Sr. together with Jacki Weaver (The Five-Year Engagement) as Dolores the constantly emotional mother and housewife. Robert never misses a game in his acting (well not all are picture perfect) you can throw the ball at this wide receiver any day, 24/7 and still score a touchdown! You will easily see in the film that he worships the city’s soaring footballers either win or lose (well it depends on the bet) while trying to have a meaning with his life after retiring and focusing on his new found business in a restaurant that almost gone down the drain if it wasn’t for Tiffany’s advice! This was also the second time the actor and his on-screen son worked together since “Limitless” back in 2011.
Second stringers Chris Tucker (Rush Hour) he portrays Danny a friend from Baltimore’s Psychiatric Facility who goes back to the big screen after some time and sheds some light in his acting and provide a little drama ok, comedy was his forte but he still contributes to the team after going in and out of the game literally (doctor’s advice). On the other hand, John Ortiz (Fast & Furious) is Ronnie the husband who actually had his own anxiety problems with work and his wife. He has played a long line of gangster personas from most of his projects and at least this time, he comes in clean as a family man with domesticated issues for a change.
The overall Production assembled by The Weinstein Company was amazingly entertaining, motivated to get the flow of narrative going while instilling wonderful performances especially for Bradley, Jennifer, Robert and Jacki. They have given time and again inspiring films that actually stand out and compete with box-office greats. Their focused and composed chemistry implies a lasting impression of a seemingly underdog in the race for the coveted awards.
While raking in $171 million the film made way to daylight coming from a few screenings only relying on a gradual easement and by word of mouth to at least give its slow start some catching up since it was up against with giants like “Skyfall” and “Lincoln” before the holidays.
I have a knack for football centric films from “Varsity Blues”, “Remember the Titans”, “Any Given Sunday”, “The Replacements”, “The Longest Yard” and of course “Jerry Maguire” but I really thought that there was something more of a connection with the main character to explore when it comes to playing and winning the game. Well, I was really glad that I was not disappointed in the film since it gave a better reason on how life should be played, how we move on without making it more painful and for us to forgive others as we forgive ourselves. When this epiphany sinks in and manifests itself, from here, happiness will just be around the corner…onward and upward!