I hope I’m the only one that hasn’t seen this movie yet. I know I’m not, as I called my husband and mother IMMEDIATELY after seeing it. This was one of those movies. Ones that you’ve heard was good and actually lives up to its expectations. I only had a basic understanding of the movie. The main male character was “crazy” and he meets someone else who is also a bit “off”. I also knew that the EAGLES were involved and that Robert Deniro was in the film… Again, all good things.
While the basis of this movie is a sort of romantic comedy, the “comedy” can be very uncomfortable as it is so close to being so true. Pat Solatano played by Bradley Cooper, is bi-polar and has been ordered into psychiatric care due to an incident. Pat caught his wife Nikky having an affair with the History teacher at the high school Pat also worked at. Pat spends four months in a hospital before his mom comes to get him out. In an agreement to get him released Pat must go to therapy daily and take his medicines. The problem is that Pat refuses to take his meds as they make him foggy and dull his senses.
Pat is invited to a dinner party at his friend Ronnie’s house (played by John Ortiz). Along with Ronnie and his wife Veronica (Julia Stiles), Veronica’s sister Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) was also there. Tiffany is a young widow who is very blunt with everything she does. As she still sees Nikky occasionally and all Pat wants to do is reconnect with her, Tiffany negotiates with Pat. If she gives a letter from Pat to Nikky, then Pat has to learn to dance and become her dance partner for an upcoming dance competition. He reluctantly agrees, and begins to learn to dance and builds a strong relationship with Tiffany.
Pat slowly gains a new semblance of life, though it’s not easy. He does eventually get to see Nikky and compete in the dance competition. I won’t tell the ending, but it’s good, if slightly predictable. What is great about the movie are the interactions and nuanced performances the “supporting” roles give. I do think Jennifer Lawrence deserves an Oscar for her performance. It’s not a flashy sort of role like her “Hunger Games” role is. It’s much more subtle, like her work in “Winter’s Bone“. Bradley Cooper does crazy really well. It’s not comical crazy. It’s a very in your face very uncomfortable and very realistic crazy.
But most of all, I loved Robert DeNiro. His role as Pat’s father was played with such a slight hand and a professional’s job that it was absolutely amazing. He was BANNED from the Linc! OMG! It is hilarious. But ultimately he just wants to connect with his son. He gets the other one, but Pat has always seemed to ellude him. Watching the relationships grow in this movie is well worth the price of rental.
Rating: 10 out of 10