Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games)
Bradley Cooper (The Hangover)
Robert De Niro (Joy)
Jacki Weaver (The Voices)
Chris Tucker (Rush Hour)
Anupam Kher (Bend It Like Beckham)
John Ortiz (Fast & Furious)
Shea Whigham (Agent Carter)
Julia Stiles (O)
Dash Mihok (Gotham)
After eight months of treatment for bipolar disorder, Pat Solitano is released from a mental health facility in Baltimore, and returns to Lansdowne, Pennsylvania into the care of his father Patrizio and mother Dolores. Pat soon learns that his estranged wife, Nikki, has moved away, and that his father is out of work and resorting to illegal bookmaking to earn money with the hopes of opening a restaurant. Pat is determined to get his life back on track and reconcile with Nikki, who obtained a restraining order against him after a violent episode sent him away.
While talking to his court-mandated therapist Dr. Cliff Patel (Kher), Pat explains why he was hospitalized: Coming home early from his high school teaching job after getting into an argument with the school’s principal, he had found his wife in the shower with the history teacher from his school while his wedding song is playing, and nearly beat the man to death. Pat recognizes that hearing the song, My Cherie Amour, can trigger a violent episode, and that sometimes when he is distressed, he hears the song though it is not playing. Despite this, Pat doesn’t believe that he needs medication to manage his condition. He tells Cliff that he has a new outlook on life. This is a reference to the name of the film, as he attempts to see the good, or “silver linings”, in all that he experiences. As part of this outlook, and his transformation to become a more worthy husband, he has lost weight and is attempting to read the books that his wife Nikki teaches to children at her school.
At dinner with his friend Ronnie and his wife Veronica, Pat meets Veronica’s sister Tiffany, a young widow who lost her job and is suffering from depression. Her dark past and blunt way of speaking make others uncomfortable, but she and Pat develop an odd friendship through their shared neuroses. They get together to eat at a diner and after an argument in the street which Tiffany escalates claiming Pat’s assaulting her, she then comes to his defense when the police show up and he becomes distressed, hearing his wedding song. Tiffany eventually offers to deliver a letter to Nikki if, in return, he will be her partner in an upcoming dance competition. He reluctantly agrees and the two begin a rigorous practice regimen over the following weeks. Pat believes the competition will be a good way to show Nikki that he has changed and become a better person.
Things go well for Pat until his father asks him to attend a Philadelphia Eagles game as a “good-luck charm”, partly because he has bet virtually all of his money on the outcome. Pat asks Tiffany for time off from practice to attend the game, which she begrudgingly allows. Tiffany also gives Pat a typed reply from Nikki, in which she cautiously hints there may be a chance for a reconciliation between them. While at the game with his friends, Pat does well and is having fun at a tailgate, until some racist fans harass the Indian fans there, including Dr. Patel. Pat gets involved in a fight after seeing his brother get punched, and he is hauled away by the police. The Eagles lose the game and Patrizio is furious. Tiffany shows up at their house and berates Patrizio, pointing out that the way she is “reading the signs,” Philadelphia teams do better when she and Pat are together, as they won every game they played when Tiffany and Pat were spending time together. Patrizio, now convinced that his son being with Tiffany is actually good luck, makes a parlay with his gambling friend that if the Eagles win their game against the Dallas Cowboys, and if Tiffany and Pat average a score of 5 out of 10 in their dance competition, he will win back double the money he lost on the first bet. Pat is reluctant to participate in the dance contest under those conditions, goes outside to consult Nikki’s letter, and notices that it also refers to “reading the signs,” realizing that Tiffany wrote the letter. With the Solatanos’ finances in danger, Tiffany and Pat’s mother persuade Pat to dance in the competition by telling him that Nikki will be there.
Tiffany, Pat, and their friends and family arrive at the competition on the night of the football game. Tiffany despairs when she finds that Nikki actually is in the audience, so Tiffany goes to the hotel bar and starts drinking with a stranger. Moments before their dance, Pat finds her and practically drags her onto the dance floor. They begin their routine as the Eagles defeat the Cowboys. At the conclusion of their set, cute but obviously unprofessional, Tiffany and Pat score exactly 5 points. Amid cheers from friends and family and confused looks from the crowd, Pat approaches Nikki and speaks quietly into her ear. Tiffany sees this and runs from the hotel. Pat leaves Nikki behind after a short conversation, intent on finding Tiffany. Pat’s father informs him that Tiffany left and tells him that he loves her right now and that it will be a sin if he does not reach out to this moment that life has given him. Pat tells his father that he loves him, and runs after Tiffany. He hands Tiffany a letter that he wrote to her, in which he admits that he knows she forged Nikki’s letter. He confesses his love for her and that he loved her from the moment he met her, and apologizes that it took him so long to come to terms with this. They share a kiss, become a couple, and Patrizio opens a restaurant with the money he has won. The final moments in the movie between Pat and Tiffany show that both of them are no longer wearing their wedding rings.
The film out by a mile from a lot of films out the sae year this was. The film also portrays mental illness in an exceptional way, as both of the leading figures are mentally disturbed following bereavement and marital break up.