Silver Linings Playbook is a 2013 dark romantic comedy about mental illness written and directed by David O. Russell and featuring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, and more. Silver Linings Playbook was nominated for eight Oscars at the 2013 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, and all four performance categories, with Jennifer Lawrence winning the 2013 Best Actress award.

Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper as Pat, a man in treatment for bipolar disorder who returns to live with his dysfunctional family after spending eight months at a mental facility in Baltimore for assaulting a man after he caught him cheating with his wife, Nikki. In an effort to distract him from trying to get back together with Nikki, Pat’s friends try to match him up with Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a recent widow with mental health struggles of her own who promises to deliver a letter from Pat to Nikki if he’ll enter a dance competition as her partner.

It’s not clear if Tiffany actually delivered Pat’s letter to Nikki, but she does confirm she was the one who wrote the return letter, despite initially telling Pat it was from Nikki. In his letter to Tiffany at the end, Pat says “I know you wrote the letter. The only way you could meet my crazy was by doing something crazy yourself,” and while that may be a sufficient answer on a high level from Pat’s perspective, it’s hardly a clear answer for Tiffany’s motivations in lying to him about the letter, although the rest of her actions in the movie could make her reasons for writing the letter fairly apparent.

Tiffany was lonely and impulsive after the death of her husband, and she says she slept with a lot of men as she tried to process her grief. She tries to have sex with Pat after they first met, but he’s still obsessed with getting back with Nikki at the time, so he refuses. She also texted another man to come to her parents’ house, who indicates it’s not unusual behavior for her. She knows the only way Pat will spend time with her initially is if he thinks she’s going to help him get back with Nikki, which is why she also uses the fake letter from Nikki to convince him to sign up for the dance contest.

Additionally, while trying to convince Pat’s mom, Dolores (Jacki Weaver), to do the parlay, Pat Sr. reveals Delores had been calling Tiffany to let her know where Pat was running so she could “ambush” him, so the scheming to get the two of them together went way beyond just Tiffany writing the fake letter from Nikki. It’s not clear if Dolores had any hand in encouraging her to write the fake letter, but Pat’s family dysfunction was clearly tightly wrapped up in way more of the plot than he realized.

After the dance with Tiffany, Pat goes up to Nikki and whispers something in her ear. At that point in the movie, his only motivation revealed to the audience was his desire to convince her to take him back, so the audience is left to assume he’s trying to get her to take him back. The whole reason he initially agreed to do the dance with Tiffany was because he thought it might show Nikki how much work he’d done on himself and convince her to get back to him, although it turns out he likely moved on from Nikki way before he saw her arrive at the dance venue.

When Pat delivers his letter to Tiffany, he says he’d written it a week prior and that he knew she’d faked Nikki’s letter. In retrospect, that reveals a lot about his mindset when he whispered to Nikki, he likely whispered something along the lines of “I’m sorry we didn’t work out. I’m better now, but I also know we’re better apart. Thanks for coming, but I’m in love with Tiffany and I hope the best for you.” Of course, Pat says plenty of other impulsive things throughout the movie, but there’s nothing to suggest he’s not clear-headed or conflicted in that moment, and what he says doesn’t seem to alter his objective in any way.

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