10 Reasons Why An Eagles Fan Will Enjoy 'Silver Linings Playbook'

10 Reasons Why An Eagles Fan Will Enjoy 'Silver Linings Playbook'

*Spoilers* This isn't an all out movie review but it definitely talks about lots of details in the movie. I saw a screening of Silver Linings Playbook last night before it hits theatres next week. I tried not to spoil any of the major plot lines, but if you don't like knowing anything about a movie before you see it, don't read this. I'd suggest clicking on this Jennifer Lawrence photo gallery instead.

*

"Don't drink too much. Don't hit anybody. You'll be fine."

That's what Robert De Niro's character says to his son, Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), when he drops him off to tailgate at the Linc for the big game against the New York Giants. Pretty spot on dialogue, but why wouldn't De Niro be going to the game as well you may be wondering as casual Eagles fan? As the story goes, De Niro's been banned from the stadium for cracking too many Cowboys' fans' skulls back in the day. Solid coverage.

It's a good example of the detail with which the main characters of Silver Linings Playbook feel authentic to Delaware County and the Philadelphia area. The book the movie is based on takes place in Collingswood, New Jersey, but the movie moves them within blocks of where I grew up near the Llanarch Diner on the Havertown/Upper Darby border.

[RELATED: VIDEO: See how De Niro learned his Philly accent from Cooper's uncle Ernie]

The movie opens up with Cooper in a mental institution, talking aloud practicing what he'll say to his wife who he hasn't seen in nine months because of some violent incident. He's telling himself/her that he's now a calmer, more peaceful person who uses the routine of Sunday dinner at his parents, watching an Eagles game as the center of a happy life. You can almost hear family members swearing at the TV as the Birds inevitably screw something up and taste the string in mom's braciole.

Silver Linings Playbook is not a movie about Eagles fans, but its very much a movie about people who happen to be diehard Eagles fans.

(If you think I liked Silver Linings just because Eagles fans are prominently featured, go read this 2006 blog post I did about Invincible.)

I've seen the movie described as a romantic comedy, but it's quite a bit darker than your typical rom-com (I'm kind of assuming here, not high on my list of types of movies I go see). The back and forth between laugh-out-loud moments and other scenes where you're literally covering your face in shock makes you feel like they dance the line between comedy and drama rather impressively.

De Niro played one of the best roles I can recall seeing him play in a long, long time. He had the crazy Italian dad from Delco on point. From the fact that he's OCD about how he watches the Birds every Sunday -- placing his TV remotes and houseguests in very specific places -- to the fact that he's a compulsive gambler running a small-time bookie operation, De Niro's character felt authentic. Tim Donaghy would approve.

I thought all of the depictions of Eagles fans were pretty damn on point. This being a Philly sports blog, I'm going to look in detil at how they handled the Philly sports angles. Here are ten things about the Eagles they did well in Silver Linings Playbook and two they may not have.

1.) One of the first things Cooper's dad (De Niro) talks to him about is how pissed off he was at DeSean Jackson dropping the ball on the one-yard line and negating a touchdown against the Cowboys. A fantastic nugget. Also, any male sports fan can relate to how De Niro's character and his son try to use sports as the starting point for a real father-son relationship.

2.) De Niro gives his Cowboys' fan friend some awesome razzing, questioning how a guy from Philly could be a fan of a team in Dallas. "What's more American than a cowboy?" his friend asks. De Niro trumps him with famous Philadelphian, Benjamin Franklin. Not the greatest answer, but the interplay between the frenemies here is straight from the streets of Delco.

3.) De Niro rocking the green cardigan sweater with the old school Eagles logo was pimp.

4.) De Niro has a closet full of Eagles games recorded on VHS.

5.) There's a scene at Cooper's therapist's office, an old Indian guy, in which Cooper is wondering if his choice of attire, an Eagles jersey, for a fancy Sunday dinner party was too informal. The shrink asks him which player's jersey he was rocking and after Cooper tells him a new No. 10 DeSean Jackson jersey, the shrink's response is hilarious. "DeSean's the man!" the therapist shouts in approval. This got tremendous laughter at the downtown Philly theatre. (Remember how much we drooled over DJacc in 2008?)

6.) The fight at the Linc tailgate -- This was the only real Eagles teaser we got in the trailer and I was very curious to see how/why this fight went down. I must say, they even got this pretty damn right. It shows the dichotomy between great Philadelphia fans -- which most of you who read this site probably would be categorized as enjoying a fun time at a tailgate with some cold beers -- contrasted with the dark side of sports fandom with ignorant, racists fans looking for trouble. Sometimes people get punched in the face.

7.) One of the major plot lines revolved around gambling on the Eagles-Cowboys game on December 27th, 2008. Any Eagles fan immediately knows how that one ends, but I liked how the last update they give you in the film before the drama goes down is the game tied at 3-3. Fake cliff hanger!

8.) Cooper's family and friends' reaction to the very formal and stuffy dance competition felt very authentic to how some diehard sports fans from Delco might actually react in such an unfamiliar setting

9.) Jennifer Lawrence in yoga pants doing Dancing with the Stars-type crawling maneuvers. Not remotely difficult to look at.


10.) There's a scene where Jennifer Lawrence unexpectedly recites where she was on days when the Eagles beat the Falcons 27-14, when the Phillies beat the Dodgers in the NLCS, when the Fightins beat Tampa in Game 4 of the World Series; It's frigging awesome. De Niro's reaction here is priceless.

Bonus: There is at least one Andy Reid-Timeout joke.

Two Minor Gripes: 1.) a detail that could have taken the Philly sports quotient up a notch: real game commentary. At a few instances in the movie when they're watching games, there is fake commentary from actual Eagles games that took place in reality. Using Eagles radio voice Merrill Reese would have been badass, but even some Fox TV commentary would have been better. We assume this to do with licensing issues. 2.) What was with the Cowboys fan guy later wearing a Giants shirt as well?

The fact that this wasn't a movie about being an Eagles fan helped the fact that the people in the movie just happened to be Eagles fans much more enjoyable. The characters felt real to me. Their relationships felt real. I might nitpick a few things here and there about the believability of some of the progressions in the love-story, but overall the movie told an enjoyable story.

But we all know how the 2008 Eagles season ends. Hollywood couldn't change that.

*

See something Eagles-related we missed in Silver Linings? Got any questions about the film I may be able to answer in the comments, ask away.

Best of NBA: Rockets snap Warriors' 12-game win streak in 2OT

Best of NBA: Rockets snap Warriors' 12-game win streak in 2OT

OAKLAND, Calif. -- James Harden notched his fourth triple-double of the season with 29 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists, and the Houston Rockets outlasted the Warriors 132-127 in double overtime Thursday night to end Golden State's 12-game winning streak.

Harden put his team ahead on a 30-footer with 3:12 left in the second overtime and hit a pair of free throws with 2:10 to go following a flagrant foul on Draymond Green.

Eric Gordon scored 23 off the bench as Houston snapped an eight-game skid to the Warriors, who lost MVP Stephen Curry with 3:25 left in the last extra session when he was whistled for a charge. Ryan Anderson also scored 29 with five 3-pointers and the teams combined to shoot 88 3s, 44 apiece.

Kevin Durant matched his season high with 39 points to go with 13 rebounds. Green had 20 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists (see full recap).

Clippers cruise past Cavaliers
CLEVELAND -- J.J. Redick scored 23 points, Blake Griffin matched a career high with 11 assists and the Los Angeles Clippers bounced back from a brutal loss with a 113-94 victory on Thursday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have lost two straight for the first time as defending NBA champions.

Chris Paul scored 16 and DeAndre Jordan had 15 rebounds for the Clippers, who blew an 18-point lead and fell in double overtime at Brooklyn on Tuesday.

Los Angeles took control with a 13-2 run to open the third quarter.

Kyrie Irving scored 28 and LeBron James 16 for the Cavs, who were outplayed for the second game in a row. Cleveland lost at Milwaukee on Tuesday, when coach Tyronn Lue pulled his starters in the second half and J.R. Smith wandered off the floor during play and gave up an easy basket (see full recap).

Shorthanded Grizzlies hold off Magic
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Marc Gasol scored 25 points, including a pair of free throws with 12.2 seconds remaining to give the Memphis Grizzlies a 95-94 victory over the Orlando Magic on Thursday night.

Gasol's free throws completed a 14-point comeback in the fourth quarter as Memphis snapped a two-game losing streak.

Troy Daniels finished with 19 points for the short-handed Grizzlies, who dressed nine players due to injuries. Andrew Harrison had 11 points and eight assists.

Evan Fournier scored 28 points for the Magic, while Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Jeff Green scored 12 of his 14 points early in the fourth as Orlando built a double-digit lead (see full recap).

Cowboys fend off Vikings for late 11th straight win

Cowboys fend off Vikings for late 11th straight win

BOX SCORE

MINNEAPOLIS -- Dez Bryant sashayed through the Dallas locker room with an unmistakable swagger and had nothing but good things to say about his adversary this time around.

It was a stark change from a week ago, when he sparred with Washington cornerback Josh Norman on Thanksgiving. The trash talking Dez and the polite Dez share one thing in common: they both win.

Bryant caught four passes for 84 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, helping the Cowboys win their 11th straight game with a 17-15 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.

In a hard-fought battle with cornerback Xavier Rhodes, Bryant's 56-yard catch set up Ezekiel Elliott's 1-yard TD in the first half. Bryant caught an 8-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter after a fumbled punt by Minnesota's Adam Thielen.

"I knew coming into this game it was going to be a tough match and I had to be on my `A' game," Bryant said. "Because if I wasn't, he can get the best of you. We had a good battle. We shared our thoughts throughout the game. It was good thoughts. It's nice playing games like that."

Elliott rushed for 86 yards on 20 carries for the Cowboys (11-1). They have the longest single-season winning streak in franchise history.

Sam Bradford threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jerick McKinnon with 25 seconds to play, but the 2-point conversion pass failed. Bradford argued for a penalty after he was hit in the face by a defender, but there was no call for the Vikings (6-6). Minnesota played without coach Mike Zimmer after he had emergency eye surgery Wednesday night.

"I'm sick and tired of the reffing in this league right now," Vikings defensive end Brian Robison said. "I'm sick and tired of it. You've got holding calls all over the place that people don't want to call. Bradford gets hit in the face at the end of the game and you don't call it. I'm not laying this loss on reffing, but at some point it's got to get better."

Bradford completed 32 of 45 passes for 247 yards, Danielle Hunter had two sacks and Kai Forbath kicked three field goals for Minnesota, which has last six of the last seven games after a 5-0 start.

Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer was elevated to head coach for the game and it remains unclear how long Zimmer will be out. Minnesota's third-ranked defense did their fiery leader proud, holding the explosive Cowboys offense to season lows in points, yards (264) and first downs (13).

"It's not the best game we played, but we showed up when we needed to and made the plays at the end," Elliott said.

Key play
With Dallas' offense doing nothing, Kyle Wilber made the play of the game when he punched the ball out of Thielen's hand, then pulled the ball away as the two rolled to the turf. Officials initially did not catch the fumble, but a heads-up challenge by Jason Garrett got the call overturned and Prescott found Bryant on the next play.

Catchless in Minneapolis
Cowboys tight end Jason Witten did not catch a pass, snapping a team-record streak of 130 straight games with a reception dating to 2008.

A TD to tie TD
Elliott's 1-yard plunge in the second quarter gave Dallas a 7-3 lead. It was his 12th touchdown rushing this season, tying him with Tony Dorsett for most by a rookie in Cowboys history.

Bradford under siege
Playing behind a patchwork offensive line that included center Nick Easton making his first career start in place of the injured Joe Berger (concussion), Bradford was under pressure all night long from a Cowboys defense that has often struggled in that area this season.

Bradford was sacked three times and had to leave the game on the final drive of the second quarter after taking a helmet from Maliek Collins to his rib cage. After getting some medical attention during halftime, Bradford was able to remain in the game.

"I had to take a deep breath," he said. "After that they were fine."

The bad news on the injury front for the Vikings came for safety Harrison Smith, who left the locker room on crutches with a walking boot on his left foot. He has been fighting through an ankle injury over the last several weeks.

Zimmer tribute
Before the game, the Vikings played a short video of Zimmer addressing the team during a practice. Zimmer's primary message: "Do your job."

That has been a common theme during his three seasons in Minnesota, and the organization likely wanted the players to hear it one more time before taking the field. After the video, a picture of Zimmer was put on the big screen with a "Get Well Soon" message attached.

"They fought to the bitter end, and I know coach Zimmer would've been very, very proud of them," Priefer said.

Up next
Cowboys: Dallas heads to New York on Dec. 11 to face the Giants, the only team to have beaten the Cowboys this season.

Vikings: Minnesota will travel to Jacksonville on Dec. 11 to face the Jaguars, hoping the extra time off will be enough for Zimmer to recover and return to the sideline.