UK Release date: 21st November 2012
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 22nd September 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I wasn’t sure about this one before watching it. I’m quite wary of popular American comedies; I have fallen foul of their evil (and terribly unfunny) ways before. Even as I began to watch I was afraid it was going to be a big mistake, but as it transpired, there was little to worry about. The film actually does have a heart and I found I finally could connect with the characters by the end. I will tell you more after this very brief summary.
When Pat (Bradley Cooper) is released from a mental institution he has made several decisions about his life. Not least of which was to do everything he could to patch things up with his wife, Nikki (Brea Bee). But she’s not all that an important character right now, as will be revealed. His parents, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and Dolores (Jacki Weaver) are supportive but have their own troubles. Pat Sr. has lost his pension and has begun taking bets in order to make ends meet. He’s obsessed with the Philadelphia Eagles and sees Pat as some kind of lucky omen. But while out for a meal with friends Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) who is widowed and also has emotional problems. She can get a message to Nikki, who has a restraining order out on Pat, but she wants something in return. And I think I’ll leave it there; that should be enough to give you a flavour.
I found it a little hard to get into at first with Bradley Cooper over-acting in places, which was beginning to put me off. The introduction of Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) though changed all that and the narrative began to make more sense. All the performances were excellent with (for me) Jennifer Lawrence standing out. Yes, I know De Niro is there but he’s really not a major character although he does play his part very well. Bradley Cooper was good, but no better really than I have seen him before. The action is littered with an awful lot of music, some I was familiar with and some not so much; all of it fitted the visuals well though and it made for a welcome enhancement to the entertainment. Over all I found it a well rounded romantic comedy (with some drama thrown in for good measure) and just a twist of quirkiness. It even touched me on an emotional level (a rare thing these days) so it gets a pretty high recommendation from me.
SteelMonster’s verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
My score: 8.3/10.
IMDb Score: 7.9/10 (based on 266,428 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 81/100: (Based on 45 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 87/100: (based on 233,762 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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