We meet Patrick, played by Bradley Cooper, in a mental institution as his mother delivers a court order for his release. It is soon revealed that he was institutionalised with bi-polar disorder following an incident following his discovery of his wife’s infidelity. Now on a restraining order to stay away from her, he seeks to prove that he’s worthy of his wife’s love and trust through positive living and a few trite aphorisms.
Before long, he encounters Tiffany, a widow suffering depression with whom he strikes a strong and immediate bond. From there the plot is basically predictable; they fall in love, he denies it, eventually changes his mind, yada yada yada. But it doesn’t matter, because these characters are so strong. Characters like these are hard to come by. There’s something so much more genuine than the average romance film offers.
The characters with the apparent mental illness offer great insights into humanity, and those without a diagnosis are shown to waver in their ability to control their senses also. We need more stories that depict varying degrees of mental health, rather than the old paradigm of being either sane or insane. This film does it beautifully, and is well worth a look.