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"…it’s no secret that life, real actual life, is almost impossibly hard. Everything that truly matters—family, friendship, health, meaning—takes a tremendous amount of work and a whole lot of stumbling. We expect it to be this way after a while. Nothing worth having ever comes easy, after all. But we often don’t anticipate the intangibles that arise: a brain that doesn’t work in quite the ways you want it to; the loss of someone you love; the necessity of stepping outside of your comfort zone, of having to confront your past and all the messes you’ve made, of going home again and struggling to change, clawing your way toward some kind of redemption. The battle to be our best selves, at times, seems endless. 

So when a film comes along and tries to grapple, honestly, with all of these things—with the mess of how things are for so very many of us—it’s something to admire. And when that same film also manages to find humor, not in laughing at the mess of its characters’ lives, but rather in embracing their struggles and fragility and humanity, it’s something to hold on to. And when that very same film somehow manages to accomplish all of this while also redefining what a “romantic comedy” can actually be in these fractured times—playing almost entirely within the rules and confines of a worn-out genre, but giving new life to its old, familiar rhythms—well, that’s when you stand up and cheer.”

—Chad Perman on Silver Linings Playbook, ("Everybody Hurts", Issue #8, January 2014)

(To read the rest of this essay, download the Bright Wall/Dark Room app to your iPhone or iPad for free, or purchase a copy of this issue for $1 to  receive immediate access to the entire issue online.)

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