Following a detour into heavy drama with The Fighter
, David O. Russell returns to his distinctive brand of neurotic screwball comedy, and like his early features Spanking the Monkey
(1994) and Flirting With Disaster
(1996), this one somersaults giddily from sanity to insanity to sanity again. The hero (Bradley Cooper), having served eight months in a psych ward for assaulting his wife's lover, wins release to the custody of his grumpy father (Robert De Niro) and solicitous mother (Jacki Weaver of Animal Kingdom
). Given the young man's violent outbursts and delusional expectations of winning back his wife, he seems bound for the loony bin again, but things begin to turn around—and around and around—after he meets a young widow (Jennifer Lawrence) who's almost as unstable as he is. With Chris Tucker and Julia Stiles.
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David O. Russell goes screwball again with Silver Linings Playbook