I’m a sucker for romantic comedies and books; always have been and always will be. The first romantic movie that I watched was Titanic, and the first ever book I read was Erich Segal’s Love Story. It would be safe to say that romance played the key role to instill in me the love for reading, and, watching movies of course. I have an undying love for both heart- breaking and happy ending love stories, even sad ones and plot less and pointless ones.. I love the entire romance genre, Okay? Okay. (The “Okay” thing is from the bestselling book and movie of the same name, The Fault in our Stars, which I’m completely obsessed with. A movie which EVERYONE cried watching, except maybe for those stone-hearted and stoned jerks. Lol.)
Anyways, I have no reason to mislead you by giving the title as Silver Linings Playbook and discuss The Fault in Our Stars. And anyways, I watched SLP a few days ago and since then, I can’t wait to brag about it to anyone and everyone who cares, or even those who don’t. Believe me when I say, I take my favorite books and movies very, very seriously.
The Silver Linings Playbook is based on the book by the same name, written by Matthew Quick. It stars Bradley Cooper (Boy, he is so pretty I want to cry) and the super-awesome Jennifer Lawrence, my own personal favorite. The plot revolves around Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) who suffers from bipolar disorder and is released from a psychiatric hospital and has moved in with his parents, determined to fix himself with the help of therapy and medications so as to win back her estranged wife, Nikki. His friend Ronnie introduces him to Tiffany Maxwell (J. Law.), his sister-in law on a dinner. Tiffany is a widow who has lost her cop husband, Tommy, to a car accident. She’s moody and depressed, even slightly mean. Their meeting was supposed to be the meet cute, but it’s actually the meet hot as Pat can’t help checking her out. But I don’t blame him for that. She’s so gorgeous I find myself checking her out sometimes, lol. As both of them are going through a hard time in life and have similar psychological problems, they connect, though their friendship is tumultuous and an odd one. But the best part was that they stood with each other where it really mattered.
Anyways, I’m not reviewing the movie, so I’m only going to discuss the parts which I liked in the movie, which primarily consists of Tiffany Maxwell. Jennifer Lawrence has nailed it in portraying the subdued grief, loneliness, anguish and edginess of a young widow, who is misunderstood and a misfit. She is unabashed and isn’t ashamed about who she is, what her choices are and what people think of her. She loses her job by sleeping with everyone in her office (11, to be precise, women included.) She is original down to the core and hates hypocrites and judgemental people. The one dialogue of her which I absolutely loved in the movie is when Pat gets fed up of her following him around, and calls her a big slut. This is how she responds back:
“I was a big slut, but I’m not anymore. There’s always gonna be a part of me that’s sloppy and dirty, but I like that, with all the other parts of myself. Can you say the same about yourself, fucker? Can you forgive? Are you any good at that?”
This is not just a dialogue, but a powerful statement as well and calls for reflection. Forgiveness is indeed a virtue; and poets, philosophers and authors have been stressing on it since forever. But where forgiveness comes in, it’s always about forgiving others, be it due to religion or about freeing oneself of emotional baggage and letting it go. But people seldom think about forgiving themselves of the wrong they did to others. I know people who repent to God for the mistakes they made along the way, which they think of as sins. I believe, no matter what the magnitude of your errors, you deserve happiness, instead of consistently taking guilt trips about what you did and how it is in front of God’s or other’s eyes. If you managed to take care of the mistake, it’s good, and if you couldn’t, it still is OKAY. God will forgive you, because His mercy is far bigger than your sins. For you to be truly compassionate and kind to others, you have to be kind to yourself first. You find the strength to forgive others only when you forgive yourself. And forgiveness is a gradual process, which is preceded by acceptance. Accepting oneself and one’s flaws is the first and most crucial process towards forgiving oneself. Then comes loving yourself. Love those imperfections of yours because, well, you are unique. There is no one like you on planet Earth, and that itself calls for celebration. When you have one of those days, you can at least think about how unique and awesome you are, and no one can be like you, not exactly anyway 😀
So, the cycle goes: Accept Yourself -> Love Yourself -> Forgive Yourself -> Forgive Others
Now, I am not entirely biased towards Tiffany. Who can sideline Bradley Cooper, and Pat is aanywaycentral to the story. Apparently, Pat’s wife had cheated on him with a colleague. Pat finds them both in the shower and he nearly beats the guy to death and is thus hospitalized. But after his release, he’s a changed man. He prefers to rely on therapy, exercise and reading books than medications to transform himself and get better. And his positive attitude is indeed commendable. His personal motto is:
“Excelsior. It means : I’m gonna take all this negativity and use it as a fuel and I’m gonna find a silver lining.”
He also believes something which is full of conviction and true to life:
He gives a fair token of gratitude at the end of the movie:
“The world will break your heart ten ways to Sunday. That’s guaranteed. I can’t begin to explain that. Or the craziness inside myself and everyone else. But guess what ? Sunday’s my favorite day again. I think of what everyone did for me, and I feel very lucky.”
And lastly, the best part of the movie for me; when he finally realizes that there were all the signs and that Tiffany was the one for him:
This movie may not be like the clichéd love stories, but it is something out of the box and not one to miss. Pat is an inspiration with a brilliant motto and that there are no silver linings when you spend your day in bed; and that you will undoubtedly receive the best when you are your best self. And Tiffany, well, she is a perfect role model for women who are ashamed of their bodies, their image and their actions. She is superbly crazy, but she manages to pull out of her own grief and selflessly helps a man to become who he was meant to be. That counts for something, doesn’t it ? 🙂