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David O. Russell’s Oscar winner, Silver Linings Playbook, was one of my favorite films from 2012, building an uncomfortably accessible romance out of snappy patter and valuable chemistry between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence – each giving career-best performances. And yet, I can understand how the seemingly pat Hollywood ending got underneath some people’s skins. Above, MTV shares an exclusive alternate ending to the “kiss-and-ride-off-into-the-sunset” ending that Russell offered his audiences. Watch it, and then we’ll discuss if this is any better of an option.
One of the criticisms leveled at Silver Linings Playbook is that the ending suggested that love can cure mental illness – an unfounded claim, as I don’t believe that was Russell’s point. Yes, Cooper and Lawrence’s characters found some happiness in each other, but I don’t think Russell believed that their problems were going to go away as a result. This clip seems to take the story one step further to solidify the point that, yes, the issues plaguing the Philadelphia family continue after the dance competition, but they’re all now a little bit better equipped to handle the instability.
Would this ending have helped the film in the Oscar race earlier this year? Probably not. The Best Picture competition always seemed to come down to Argo versus Lincoln, and this ending likely wasn’t going to catapult Silver Linings Playbook to the head of the Oscar class. But for those who enjoyed Russell’s story, it’s an interesting option that was available to the director. Hopefully a DVD feature includes some commentary so he can explain why he chose to remove this professionally shot and edited conclusion.