“Excelsior! It means you know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna take all this negativity and I’m gonna use it as fuel, I’m gonna find a silver lining.”
Released on 31/01/2013 to New Zealand (rated M: for mature audiences) cinemas I’ll admit I wasn’t keen on watching it because they’d initially marketed it as some kind of rom-com. A genre I generally steer clear of because of the lonely feels they generate. I kid. I like a bit of rom-com, and truthfully when I saw the trailer I was intrigued so I had been waiting for this. It’s based on the book of the same title by Matthew Quick and directed by David O. Russell. I have not read the book, a fact of which I am ashamed to admit because you’re supposed to read the book first no matter what. With that confession out of the way I have but a few things to say about this movie. I’m not very good with movie reviews because of my tendency to ramble on. So here we go!
The movie made me laugh.
It also made me sad.
No, I do have a few more things to add. Am I the only one who liked Bradley Cooper going into this? I mean, I’m no film critic by any stretch of the imagination, and I think the only things I’ve seen Cooper in were The Hangover movies and the A Team. Yeah no, I really am not a film critic so I don’t know that I can say anything against the judgement about Cooper as an actor and feel like I would (oh wait I’ve also seen Limitless, anyone? Sigh) get taken seriously. What I can say is his performance as Patrick, Pat Jr, Solitano convinced me. Does that make sense? His character, and in fact all the characters (except Nikki who I hated- let me have this) were in some way easy to sympathise with. I know people living with mental illness, I’m related to people dealing with mental illness, and at no point in this film did I feel like the characters were caricatures of people with mental illness. The actors were, in my most humble opinion, great. Every scene between Cooper and Robert De Niro, who played Patrizio (Pat Sr), was emotionally charged. Jackie Weaver as Pat Jr’s mother Dolores was brilliant as a supportive figure and mediator for and between her husband and her son. Special mentions: Boy am I glad to see Chris Tucker, I feel like it’s been a while since them Rush Hour films and he had some lines that straight cracked me up, ‘Black it up Pat.’ Dr. Patel? Hey it’s Jesminder’s dad from Bend it like Beckham! Anupam Kher played a good therapist, also I was glad he was there for the exposition of what a parley was. Otherwise I would have had to google that shit. Tiffany’s sister Veronica and her husband Ronnie, played by Julia Stiles and John Ortiz respectively, were also nice touches.
But really I just want to get on to Katniss Everdeen, sorry I mean Jennifer Lawrence, as Tiffany Maxwell. Also known as the Troll Queen of the Internet. J-Law has got some rock solid talent, I’m speaking as a person who enjoyed her performance for what it was, not as a critic who’s adding up her strengths and comparing her to other actors. She held her own against De Niro, hell against a cast of actors a wee bit older than her. Her character was endearing without being too mushy and you felt for her despite her abrasiveness in parts. In fact it made her even more admirable because she was strong. She, both Jennifer Lawrence and her character, what-I-call owned it.
This movie isn’t just some romantic comedy, it’s a drama about the lives of these people who have to deal with and work through some personal and interpersonal issues whilst maintaining (or not) relationships with the people they love. It just so happens to have a romantic element to it. The lives of these characters wind up being important to you whilst you watched. Not sure if that means much coming from me, someone who openly admits to allocating way too much feels to fictional characters, but you do. You feel for Pat whenever he hears, or thinks he hears, ‘My Cherie Amour’ or even for Tiffany’s parents having to deal with the people who come looking to take advantage of Tiffany’s illness.
If you haven’t seen it, we give it the JawkwardLOL Seal of Approval (I’m not sure that means much but let’s pretend it does) and urge you to do so. If you have seen it, let us know what you think! What was your favourite awkward moment? Mine was every scene between Pat and Tiffany before they started working on the dance routine. They were awful but amazing around each other. Please talk to us. No, seriously. Do it. Otherwise the final gif is totally about you.