June 23, 2013

Superficial treatment in Silver Linings Playbook

I watched Silver Linings Playbook recently. I didn't know "bipolar" meant delusions, paranoia, and violent rage. I would've thought these symptoms suggested some other mental disorder.

The movie seems to want to have it both ways. He's "bipolar," which means the state can release him to his daffy parents because he merely has "mood swings." But he's dangerously psychotic because he nearly beat someone to death and still flies into a rage at the slightest provocation.

If the movie diagnosed him correctly, I don't think he'd get released after a mere eight months by fake-taking his meds. He seems to have a long-term problem he may have inherited from his father.

But if he wasn't released, we wouldn't have a cute romance movie where both parties say and do inappropriate things. So he's "bipolar," not psychotic.

Others agree it's a mess:

Is Silver Linings Playbook Really About Mental Illness?

Silver Linings Playbook: Treating bipolar disorder a la Hollywood is not funny

'Silver Linings Playbook' OK on Mental Illness?

What I learned from Silver Linings Playbook: Dance competitions cure mental illness; football victories cure gambling addiction and OCD.

How Silver Linings Playbook is like Hollywood's Native movies. 1) All illnesses and Indians are the same. 2) Good feelings cure the problems. 3) Just acknowledging them is enough to excuse the mistakes and stereotypes.

I'd say Argo was better than Lincoln, and both were better than Silver Linings Playbook. Rob's rating: 7.5.

For more on mental illness, see Negative Reviews of Jimmy P. and Mental Health Services Needed.

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