'Tomorrowland' and 'The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)': Into the Future With George Clooney, Into the Dumper With Tom Six's Last Trash-fest "Tomorrowland" has so much going for it that you wonder, as you watch it stretch past the two-hour mark, why it isn't actually going anywhere — or anywhere you feel able to go with it, anyway. The director, Pixar genius Brad Bird, is a master …Read more. 'Mad Max: Fury Road': Tom Hardy Is a Worthy Successor to Mel Gibson, but Charlize Theron Rules This Furious Sequel George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road" is a speed-metal classic. Crazed warlords and rampaging psychonauts attack nonstop. Fleets of monster trucks, cranked-up hot rods and armored battle bikes scream through the desert and sail through the air. …Read more. 'Maggie' and 'The D Train': Unexpected Oddities In the nearly 50 years since George Romero launched the modern zombie movie with "Night of the Living Dead," there have been continual attempts to freshen the genre — to keep it going. We've had hard-charging zombies ("28 Days Later"), comic …Read more. 'Avengers: Age of Ultron': Crowded House The biggest battle in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" — which is a movie of many, many battles — is the one between writer-director Joss Whedon and the massed forces of Marvel Studios. Whedon strives to enrich the film with the sort of …Read more.more articles
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, crazy in love
Just back from eight months in a mental institution, to which he'd been consigned after pounding a guy he caught showering with his wife, ex-school teacher Pat Solitano has returned home to Philadelphia to discover...that he has no home. His estranged spouse, Nikki, has sold their house and obtained a restraining order to keep him away from her. Pat's heavy bipolar issues — wild delusions and sudden rages — are still in full, scary effect, but he's determined to win Nikki back. All it will require is working out, losing some weight and thinking positive. ("I'm gonna take all this negativity and use it for fuel!" he announces to his dismayed parents, with whom he's moved back in.)
Then he meets Tiffany, a sour young widow with plenty of issues of her own. ("I was a big slut, but I'm not anymore," she tells Pat very early on.) Tiffany's older sister is a friend of Nikki's, and Pat, thinking positively, leaps at this opportunity to re-establish contact with his runaway wife. Tiffany might help, but she also needs a partner for an upcoming ballroom-dancing competition. Pat can't dance, but Tiffany, in her cockeyed way, is thinking positive, too.
In "Silver Linings Playbook," Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, playing Pat and Tiffany, demonstrate that rare thing, an onscreen chemistry that's completely persuasive. They're wonderfully funny together. Cooper's Pat, in the grip of a raging delusion that he can somehow repossess Nikki, can't see anything outside of this uphill goal. Lawrence's Tiffany, for whom acting very oddly is a full-time occupation, is being driven even battier by her inability to get Pat to see her.
These two are reason enough to see the movie; they've never been better. And 22-year-old Lawrence, especially, is a revelation.
The movie is packed with great scenes, memorable among them Pat's towering rant about the insufficiencies of Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms," which is hilariously echoed later on by Tiffany's squintingly intense dismissal of "Lord of the Flies." (There's also a cute fanboy moment in which we barely glimpse the marquee of a theatre that's showing "The Midnight Meat Train," the bloody cult horror film in which Cooper starred.) You know that all of this is going to wind up at the big dance competition, but that turns out to be memorable, too.
To call this picture a "romantic comedy" would do it a disservice. The characters are leagues away from the usual rom-com cliches, and the dialogue is far more inventively tart. It's tiresome to hear reviewers hyping this or that funny movie as "the year's best," so I won't. But you get the idea.
Kurt Loder is the film critic for Reason Online. To find out more about Kurt Loder and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM