Silver Linings Playbook
The Weinstein Company/Mirage Entertainment
I once wrote that romantic comedies are all essentially the same in the end; it's how you arrive at the ending that makes the difference between a great one and a generic one. David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook may have a predictable ending, but the time spent with its dysfunctional, pitiable, sympathetic, and often hilarious characters make it worth it.
It's rare to see a romantic comedy that isn't so clichéd that you can see every plot development before it occurs. Perhaps it's due to the large crazy-on-some-level cast of characters, or a concerted effort to avoid the usual trappings of the genre, but whatever the reason Silver Linings Playbook is a textbook example of how to make a great character-driven drama, full of comedic, truly touching, and often heart-wrenching moments. The characters are so well developed, you feel as if you've known them for years, and every actor without exception gives an impeccable performance.
This should be the new blueprint for the genre.