Recovery in the Theater

Silver Linings Playbook is a romantic comedy-drama currently in theaters which addresses the topic of mental health and recovery.  Jennifer Lawrence, the lead actress in the film took home the award for Best Actress at the Oscars for her performance in the film. Directed by David O. Russell, from the novel by Matthew Quick. The film stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, with Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Anupam Kher, Julia Stiles, and Chris Tucker in supporting roles.

The plot of the film is based around Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), who has bipolar disorder.  The film starts with Solitano being released from a mental health facility into the care of his parents after eight months of treatment. Pat doesn’t believe he needs medication to manage his condition. The film continues to build around Pat’s mental health with scenes showing possible triggers to his condition and the effects it has on Pat and those around him. However, the film is not solely about mental health, but rather a person with a mental health issue.

The more often Hollywood brings mental health into a story line, the less taboo the subject is. For those who are unfamiliar with mental health treatment, counselors and medications the big screen can be a great tool for exposure. Here in Silver Linings Playbook a great scene is set in that mental health is not the main focus of the movie, but an element that affects all of the characters. Which usually is the issue amongst those struggling with mental health, the disease is the triggering point, but how each person responds dictates the outcome. We salute the creators and artists behind Silver Linings Playbook and hope to see more films bring mental health to the forefront of the public’s eyes.