Figures it would take David O. Russell to come up with one of my favorite rom-coms of 2012. I’m not ashamed to admit that rom-coms are maybe my favorite movie genre, even though the genre is, as a rule, a pitiful one. Good rom-coms come along once in a blue moon and the bad ones are not only plentiful but painful. In fact, the last really good one I remember is last year’s Bridesmaids, which wasn’t even technically a rom-com, but did have as one of its many virtues a very believable and sweet love story between the Kristen Wiig character and the nice Irish cop.
Russell’s genre is family wackadoodle, which (with the notable of Three Kings) he’s explored in every major film project he’s written/directed: Spanking the Monkey, Flirting with Disaster, I Heart Huckabees, and now the new Silver Linings Playbook. The wacky family in Playbook are the Solitanos of Philadelphia: Pat, Sr. (Robert De Niro), an extremely superstitious and OCD Philadelphia Eagles fan who’s been barred from Eagles stadium for life for brawling with supporters of opposing teams.