January 15, 2013

"Silver Linings Playbook:"

From my Taki's Magazine movie review:
Few disagree with the line from the old Jimmy Buffett song that “If we couldn’t laugh, we’d all go insane.” Yet in movies, humorless characters are funnier. There’s nothing more painful onscreen than somebody who is supposed to be witty and wise delivering a line that all the other characters find a riot. 
Then, again, in real life, people who are professionals at making others laugh are often, contra Buffett, not quite right in the head. 
Consider writer-director David O. Russell and his Best Picture-nominated comedy, Silver Linings Playbook, one of 2012’s most consistently entertaining movies.

Read the whole thing there.

12 comments:

wren said...

I've been really enjoying and laughing at the "Adventure Time" cartoon series.

I wondered about who made it, and the guy looks like a physics grad student or something.

Aspie?

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Beautiful Steve! Always loved your movie reviews.Learn as much from as from your serious pieces.

Are you going to review Argo?

headbone's connected to the ear bone said...

re: 'nothing more painful on screen ...'

The Girl speaking up in 'The Girl in the Cafe' was the most painful thing /I've/ ever seen. I never knew how strong social propriety was 'til then.

Mark said...

Odd movie, I can agree with pretty much all the criticism of the movie but I still very much liked it. Really enjoyed the two main characters but the family drove me a bit nuts. One of the few feel good movies that didn't make me want to vomit. Hope it wins some awards.

DCThrowback said...

Concur 100% w/ Dr. Van Nostrand. I learn so much about more about movies by reading your reviews.

reader said...

Last year I watched "The Fighter" mostly on the basis of (what I took to be) your qualified recommendation. I enjoyed it, but didn't find Bale's character so compelling as you did, just odd. I think the rest of the cast, including Adams, did the better work in their roles as less eccentric but likewise dysfunctional, poor, untalented whites.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

oops silly me, just found your Argo review!

Anonymous said...

This Russell guy is a punk.

Along with PT Anderson, Wes Anderson, Todd Solondnz, Alexander Payne, and etc, he refuses to grow up.

It's like perpetual Benjamin Braddockism. What was funny in The Graduate and eccentric in Harold and Maude has grown into a tumor of perpetual infantilism.

Anonymous said...

It's O'Russell's ass that should be spanked.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this bunch ought to be called masturbauteurs.

Notice PT Anderson. He makes a movie called Boogie Nights about the industry that caters to whanking.
O Russell gave us Spanking the Monkey.
Solondz movies are about dorks popping their puds like zits.
John Wayne oughta kick all their asses and set them straight.
Noah Baumbach is another dork, but his Kicking and Screaming was pretty good.

Two other perpetual weirdos are
Charlie Kaufman and Whit Stillman, but Kaufman's genuinely brilliant, kinda like Kafka on prozac, and Stillman's conservatism has a restraining influence that thankfully prevents him from going totally into ewwwwwww territory.
Damsels in Distress done by Russell or Solondnz would have been disgusting. But Stillman has a certain respect for the dignity of his characters. He pokes fun at them but doesn't stick a poker up their arse.

Richard Linklater is something of a perpetual youther too, but he has a bigger heart than most and isn't so self-obsessed. He's like Jonathan Demme before he got all shitty with Silence of Hams and Homophiladelphia.
Me and Orson Welles was delightful.
And Dazed and Confused is an all-time great movie.

Whiskey said...

What's weird Steve is how Hollywood lacks any real leading men.

Consider Steve McQueen, James Coburn, James Garner, Paul Newman: all amateur racers (Newman and McQueen and Garner were quite good too), manly men who were never ever "boys."

Now look at Clooney. He's a greying boy. Nothing sadder. He's also politicized himself so much that he's become a joke, much like Matt Damon.

But what's even weirder is his career. Instead of making manly-men movies like Bullit or Le Mans or Hour of the Gun or Slap Shot, he's made ... remakes of Sinatra's Ocean's 11. And a zillion damn rom com chick flicks.

I have to ask, what the hell IS IT in Hollywood? First Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, becomes as Jimmy Kimmel called it, "an ex-Man" by doing Broadway stuff and rom-coms, then Gerard Butler, now Bradley Cooper. Who's made a ton. But Clooney is the worst, doing rom com after rom com. These films don't make much money. Women stopped believing in romance that way; preferring hunky shirtless werewolves vs. sparkly gay vampires, or post-apocalyptic versions of the same. Rom coms are hard to write, tone and rhythm are hard to do and critical. But what is is it? Why the heck is the current action hero lineup a bunch of old guys like Bruce Willis and Arnold again and Liam Neeson, and ... Joseph Gordon Levitt? That's all we can do?

Whiskey check said...

Seriously, you think this is just like him doing another "The Notebook?" That there's no difference? You're either befuddled or just laboring w/ theory-induced blindness(tm). Maybe Cooper's a meager offering for the modern leading man but the entire "funny" premise of that movie is that he's impossibly violent and non-rehabilitatable.