Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Directed By: David O’Russell
This romantic comedy hit starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawerence, and Robert De Niro may not be a deep-diving character study into the psyche of a degenerate gambler, but it is about a life surrounded by that.
Bradley Cooper plays Pat, a man struggling with mental health who is constantly trying to better himself. When he comes across Jennifer Lawerence's Tiffany, who is in the same boat, a relationship starts to develop in a romantic yet comedic way. While their relationship may not revolve around gambling, Pat’s relationship with his father (De Niro) is heavily influenced by it as he lives and dies with his bets on the Eagles.
Through this film and its incredible display of acting by everyone, we get a glance into sports fandom, parental baggage, social pressures, and mental health. All of these get enhanced when a massive parley is placed on an Eagles game and dance routine that can unite all the characters.
Silver Linings Playbook may sound old-fashioned, but O’Russell gives it a fresh and hilarious take on love, family, and living in Philadelphia with more bets on the Eagles than one should do in a whole lifetime.