This holiday season’s box office received a quick glance of Southeastern Pennsylvania, specifically Delaware County, in the romantic comedy-drama, “Silver Linings Playbook.” The movie, directed by David O. Russell, follows Pat, played by Bradley Cooper, a bipolar Philadelphian after his recent release from a mental hospital. Later, it is revealed that he and his ex-wife faced legal problems when he violently attacked the man he caught cheating with his wife. As we watch Pat recover and mourn his recent “loss” of a wife, he befriends a depressed woman, Tiffany, played by Jennifer Lawrence, who is coping with the recent death of her husband. Their relationship blossoms throughout the film, but for those who have yet to see it, I will not spoil the ending.
Interestingly enough, the movie was shot in some West Chester students’ backyards. The home that Russell used for Pat’s parents house was rented out during filming from a single-mother who spent her life living on South Madison Avenue in Upper Darby. The director paid the homeowner for the use of her home and even made renovations to alter the appearance for movie purposes. Her children were paid to be extras in the movie as well.
The film, in a sense, revolves around the Eagles football team. Consequently, there are a number of Eagles references heard throughout the film and several shots of Lincoln Financial Field. In one scene, Pat and his brother are shown tailgating at the Eagles game with the stadium in the background as a fight breaks out among the spectators (what an appropriate depiction of Philadelphia fans).
The movie is briefly shot at Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High Schools in Drexel Hill, which many West Chester students attended.
Many residents of Delaware Country are very familiar with the 80-year-old Llanerch Diner in Upper Darby. The movie captures about 10 minutes in the diner, where the interior is untouched by Hollywood magic. Employees and regulars continue their daily routine as cameras capture an extremely dramatic moment in the film. Also, there are many scenes of Pat running throughout the streets of Upper Darby, which give the viewers a glimpse of the residential suburbs. West Chester University student, Brenn McCans, had the pleasure of seeing Cooper during one of the many scenes where his character runs down Lansdowne Avenue. “Seeing a celebrity in my hometown was so cool. I’m glad I got to catch a glimpse of him and the crew. I wish I could have been an extra, though,” said McCans.
The movie’s concluding scenes were filmed at “The Ballroom at the Ben” during the dance competition that Tiffany and Pat decide to participate in together. This ballroom is a part of the Benjamin Franklin Hotel built in 1925 on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.
“Silver Linings Playbook” received countless nominations, including eight Academy Awards nominations. It was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, and Lawrence won the award for Best Actress. More recently, Lawrence also won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film.
It is not every day that a major Hollywood film features many of our own stomping grounds, especially not one so acclaimed by the film community. “Silver Linings Playbook” is a must-see and will be coming to our own Sykes theater this semester. While watching, make sure to keep an eye out for all of the amazing local sites.
Lauren Grow is a first-year student majoring in Communication Studies. She can be reached at LG781077@wcupa.edu.