The Emperor Has No Clothes


I was sitting with my Mom yesterday afternoon in Maine watching the Katie Couric Show , a little luxury I couldn’t help but take advantage of, especially because her featured guest was actor; Bradley Cooper.

Her conversation with him centered around his”weighty” starring role, in a film recently nominated for five Oscars, as a character who suffers from Bi-Polar disorder, in the screen adaptation of Silver Linings Playbook.

Cooper was joined by actor legend, Robert De Niro, Director, David O. Russell, and the recently diagnosed Congressman, Patrick Kennedy, whose appearance added extra emphasis to the films subject matter; mental illness. 

Apparently, as Katie saw it,  the content of this film offered significant opportunity to ignite conversations in audiences everywhere around the recent hot topic of mental healthcare in America. Each of the actors spent time talking about the relevancy of this film in relation to several recent tragedies involving mentally disturbed individuals- i.e.; Adam Lanza (whose name was explicitly mentioned) and the Sandy Hook Tragedy.

I went to see 7:00 pm showing last night, after Mom and I decided that it seemed important.

As I sit here writing, I’m not sure who is more disturbed… me, our culture, or the mentally ill.  Perhaps these are all one in the same.

I shake my head and want to point out some inconsistencies I find relevant:

  • The film was hardly about mental illness, and I do not get the correlation made about the films ability to spark intelligent conversation on the topic of mental illness in America- huh?
  • The film is a comedy, and, honestly, I’m not getting the humor.  It left me, (perhaps a minority in this case) feeling sad, disgusted, and angry that Katie or anyone else would attach the films relevancy to this time period in our tragic history.
  • It barely really touched on what Bi-Polar Disorder is, or how it truly impacts a family.
  • “Mental Illness” was not even the genuine story line of the film, but only the container for a humor filled look at a dysfunctional family with weird tendencies around football.

Maybe I should not be so irritated and disgusted, but I’m just sitting here sputtering in my frustration feeling really sad for the twenty six kids who were killed in vain, the mentally ill young adult who never got the treatment he needed, and all of the parents and educators who have anguished over the insanity they must continue to feel as our culture carries on after this tragedy even though, “The Emperor has No Clothes


  1. Roo says

    I loved the movie because I thought it was a well done “comedy” with some talented and nice to look at stars, but I agree with you, BiPolar Disorder was mentioned once, but aside from that and a few angry triggered outbursts, the movie was a rom com. I guess in the sad world we live in, we are always looking for “meaning” and trying to attach symbolism to it all. The discussion Katie wanted to have is an important one, but had nothing to do with this movie.