Author Topic: Silver Linings Playbook  (Read 11392 times)

Totoro

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Re: Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2012, 09:52:15 PM »
Jennifer Lawrence's character is a subverted take of the "Manic Pixie Dreamgirl". Her existence in the film is to pretty much save the male lead from himself and her character exists rarely outside this one singular use. However, instead of being bright and cheery, she's aggressive and her psychosis is relatable to Cooper's character so he falls for her easier.

In short: a very shallow performance and character that is getting oddly over-praised by critics.

disagree

they address that exact question of her agency in the narrative when she stands up for herself and asserts her biggest want which even her dead husband wouldnt help with - and she isn't saving him from himself in that she's assisting him w/ his goal yet inserting herself wherever possible in order to meet her own needs

a great character inhabited by a performance more dynamic and praise-worthy than her relatively simplistic winter's bone role

Her biggest want is essentially a romantic gesture made from a man. Hence, she's only here to service a man or want a man to service her.

And, no, that's complete bs that she's not inserting herself to save him from himself. Remember the scene where it's revealed that the mother told her where Pat runs so she can run into him? Her whole romance with Pat is completely based on her inserting herself into his life so that she can save him by getting into a relationship with him. She cares for him, she loves him (why, I don't know, but in these narratives where a "manic pixie dreamgirl" stereotype exist, women are tools for male readjustment, not real characters).

Hmm, am I misunderstanding your definition of "saving him from himself"? What aspect of himself is she saving him from? I see her entertaining his delusions and goading him on about getting back with his wife. To whatever extent she wants a relationship with him is much more about saving herself than him, but again that's only one facet of her.

I'm seeing her biggest want as competing in the competition because she enjoys dance. She enjoyed dance and wanted to do the competition even when she was with her husband, so it's not just a means to meet a guy. She likes dancing. Yes she mentions the romance of it but alongside focus and collaboration and discipline (and earlier therapy). To me that's pretty well-rounded and motivated and in keeping with real life hobbyists. This isn't like Elizabethtown or Garden State in those respects.

It is essentially the David O. Russel subverted version of Elizabethtown or Garden State. Instead of quirky Midwest/New Jersey family/friends, it's quirky Boston family and friends. Instead of a over-the-moon happy girl trying to lift the spirits of a down guy, we have a solemn, moody one trying to lift the spirits of a bipolar guy. Dunst, Portman, and Lawrence are all the main reasons for the male protagonist's improvement as a person. She likes dancing, yes, but it's a "in" to a guy. I would say from the get-go that she was never interested in actually helping Pat (she already shows concern and affection for him early on AND she already knows where he runs... this was planned WITH the family which goes to my other point about saving him - his Mom and Dad don't want him to get back with his wife, they obviously want her to get with him... all of this took place BEFORE she asked him to help her with the dance, dude). In that very specific scene in the kitchen, she explains to his parents about her troubles with "helping him". Russel is fascinated with men with mental problems as shown in I Heart Huckabees and to a somewhat lesser extent, The Fighter. But this one was so bland because of how planned out the entire thing was. Not to mention that the father's subplot is never really explored (his restaurant idea seems like a faint pipe dream that never gets the supposed weight we are supposed to feel) but that's another story.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2012, 09:54:04 PM »
This film doesn't take place in Boston. I mean, I don't even know how it can be confused with taking place in Boston/New England.

Totoro

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Re: Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2012, 09:57:40 PM »
This film doesn't take place in Boston. I mean, I don't even know how it can be confused with taking place in Boston/New England.

There's isn't that big a difference between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

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Re: Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2012, 10:01:11 PM »
I mean I haven't spent extensive time in Massachusetts, only about a week total, but I've been in and around Philly enough to know that I'm inclined to disagree with that statement.

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Re: Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2012, 03:04:07 AM »
It is essentially the David O. Russel subverted version of Elizabethtown or Garden State. Instead of quirky Midwest/New Jersey family/friends, it's quirky Boston family and friends. Instead of a over-the-moon happy girl trying to lift the spirits of a down guy, we have a solemn, moody one trying to lift the spirits of a bipolar guy. Dunst, Portman, and Lawrence are all the main reasons for the male protagonist's improvement as a person. She likes dancing, yes, but it's a "in" to a guy. I would say from the get-go that she was never interested in actually helping Pat (she already shows concern and affection for him early on AND she already knows where he runs... this was planned WITH the family which goes to my other point about saving him - his Mom and Dad don't want him to get back with his wife, they obviously want her to get with him... all of this took place BEFORE she asked him to help her with the dance, dude). In that very specific scene in the kitchen, she explains to his parents about her troubles with "helping him". Russel is fascinated with men with mental problems as shown in I Heart Huckabees and to a somewhat lesser extent, The Fighter. But this one was so bland because of how planned out the entire thing was. Not to mention that the father's subplot is never really explored (his restaurant idea seems like a faint pipe dream that never gets the supposed weight we are supposed to feel) but that's another story.

Um, you dont seem to be grasping actual details of these movies you're watching, so no wonder I find your criticisms perplexing.

In reverse:

DeNiro's restaurant - which isn't a subplot to explore anyway - is explained by the brother as a means of laundering his bookmaking, so there is no "weight" to "feel" plus it gets its mention in the little coda at the end

Her collaboration is firstly with the mother and only after meeting Pat when fixed up by her sister: her sister is pushing her onto Pat before she is calling Pat's mom. And at the fix-up dinner, she bristles in embarrassment when the dancing is brought up by her sister.  Only after her confrontation w/ Pat's dad (again: her own agency) does he come around to liking her, having been verbally against their spending time together beforehand. So under your rubric, Julia Stiles is more a manic pixie dreamgirl than Jennifer Lawrence, and the mom is the most manic pixie dreamgirl of them all. So don't worry, you're cool bro, there ARE manic pixie dreamgirls in this movie so you CAN prove you're too cool for that trope and dismiss this particular film based on your distancing maneuver. Bravo!

Once again: her interest in dance is not an "in" to a guy because, like I already said, she was into it when she already had a husband. And if she doesn't want to talk about the dance at her fix-up dinner and doesn't angle him with it at their diner date and we watch as she shifts her feelings for Pat when he stymies the office fling and that immediately motivates her to ask him to do the dance (she had to come around to trusting him w/ something so important to her, something more important than he is to her at that point), then how do you still see her interest in dance as not her character's personal interest but instead what you claim is a contrivance for her lifting his spirits?

So she's "solemn" she's "moody" she's selfishly "never interested in helping" - how is any of that manic or pixie or dreamgirl?

You're sitting on this buzzword that you've apparently read is a bad, cheap device in movies like this (and you don't even seem to understand?) and you can't see beyond it when there's an actual developed relationship in a movie.

« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 03:09:40 AM by wigwam »

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Re: Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2012, 03:13:07 AM »
This film doesn't take place in Boston. I mean, I don't even know how it can be confused with taking place in Boston/New England.

There's isn't that big a difference between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

how about between New Jersey and Kentucky?
how about between any actual detail of a film and whatever made-up misunderstanding you use to dismiss the film?
Not big differences either, right?

Totoro

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Re: Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2012, 05:43:29 AM »
This film doesn't take place in Boston. I mean, I don't even know how it can be confused with taking place in Boston/New England.

There's isn't that big a difference between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

how about between New Jersey and Kentucky?
how about between any actual detail of a film and whatever made-up misunderstanding you use to dismiss the film?
Not big differences either, right?

Pennsylvania and New Jersey are bordering states. New Jersey and Kentucky are not.

Totoro

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Re: Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2012, 05:58:08 AM »
This review refers to Lawrence as O Russel's version of a Manic Pixie Dreamgirl (if you read my posts, you would find that I said something similar)

http://www.craveonline.com/film/reviews/199939-second-opinion-silver-linings-playbook

This review says it's arguable

http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/indie-roundup-silver-linings-playbook-190430065.html

This review actually says Pat is the Manic Pixie Dreamboy (and makes a good case for it)

http://moviechart.info/silver-linings-playbook-review-brad-cooper-is-david-o-russells-manic-pixie-dreamboy.html

This review refers to Lawrence's character as a manic pixie dreamgirl as well:

http://cinema-scope.com/currency/so-you-think-you-can-dance-david-o-russells-silver-linings-playbook/

So, it isn't "fact" that I'm wrong and you're right, actually it is very debatable amongst film critics right now. As for why the Manic Pixie Dreamgirl trope is bad, look no further than here:



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Re: Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2012, 10:43:24 AM »
haha great links! Pat as manic pixie dreamboy is hilarious

but i was only interested in your opinion which seemed illogical to me w/ what was in the film, and you've explained to me fully where the illogic stems from so i'm uninterested now

i don't mind anyone's objection to manic pixie dreamgirl, but only if that character is actually present in the film, and in most cases of heightened objection to manic pixie dreamgirls (especially Elizabethtown and Garden State) I find those characters to be the least of my concerns w/ how terrible those movies are - so for someone (you) to worry about its presence (lack thereof) in a good movie (Silver Linings Playbook) it worries me that people are looking at movies all wrong if that's all they can see or think to worry about when there's everything else to like/dislike (especially when it's a non-issue, like in SLP)

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Re: Silver Linings Playbook
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2012, 10:50:23 AM »
I think I'll interject here:

Let's all endeavor to word our responses with concern for the poster's feelings, especially when it comes to how we view a film.  It's well-established around this forum that we all see films from our unique points of view and that therefore we respond uniquely.  And, while it's fine and good to disagree, we have an obligation to this forum and to one another to respect differences and to respond without personal attack and without insult or injury. 

Please, let us keep in mind the spirit of this forum which has sustained for many years because everyone is respected here.
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