The Silver Linings Playbook – Novel by Matthew Quick
Matthew Quick’s debut novel, The Silver Linings Playbook, is genuine, fantastic, and one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. The story is about the mentally at-risk Pat Peoples and his return home to live with his parents after losing his home, his wife, and his life as he knew it. This was one of those books I just couldn’t put down and recommended to (literally) everyone. In my experience, I find it hard to find a light hearted story about a depressing topic that is as true to life as can be while still entertaining the reader. The Silver Linings Playbook did this, which is why I enjoyed it so much.
Pat Peoples is the poster child of mentally at-risk adults – the ones who don’t fully recognize their disease. Pat was troubled his whole life, which makes him relatable, as throughout this book he is trying to better himself and find his own silver lining. His relationships with everyone throughout the novel are what truly move the story. Tiffany, Dr. Patel, his Dad, his brother Jake, etc. all are pivotal forces in Pats life and help him grow and become who he needs to be.
The way in which his relationship with Tiffany played out was somewhat predictable and I wasn’t sure if I was fully satisfied with the ending. I think it was clear that Pat developed deep and real feelings for Tiffany but I wanted him to come to that realization and let go of Nikki on his own, which he didn’t. However, I don’t think this ruined the integrity of the book in any way; if anything it made it more realistic and without a silver lining.
“The Silver Linings Playbook” – Directed by David O. Russell
The one thing that I have truly learned throughout my experience with this blog is that once an author sells the rights to their work it no longer remains their story (unless, of course, the novelist is integrally involved in the writing of the screen play). Although unfortunate, it seems that the brilliant minds that develop the characters and storylines we come to love on screen are sometimes thrown under the bus, and their artistic vision does not become the one that matters. But, this is Hollywood. Sometimes, you have to do what it takes to create a fantastic movie, one that viewers will love and understand. And, lets face it, the average American wants to see their happy ending, the results they expect, and their own silver lining. Unfortunately, I think Matthew Quick’s vision was not fully respected in this adaptation… However, David O. Russell created a fantastic movie, one that I truly loved and was able to accept regardless of it’s mis-telling of Quick’s storry.
Let me first state that the casting in this movie was spot-on. It was perfect. The actors embodied their characters so fluidly they almost seem like real people. My hat goes off to Bradley Cooper who I truly felt was the break out here; up until this point, I had only seen him play the roles he had been stereotyped into but here he was vulnerable, heartfelt, and funny. Another thing about this movie that was just spectacular… it was funny yet sad. It was honest, it was real. It is the kind of movie I will buy the moment it comes out on DVD/Blu Ray combo pack and fall asleep watching every night for at least 6 months. It was so good. I wanted to stay in the theater and watch it a second time – and I am not even sure why.
Like I mentioned above, this film was much different from the book it developed from but I just don’t care. I don’t even want to mention it. I guess the only thing that bothered me (and this usually does) is that they changed Pat’s last name from Peoples to Solitano. I understand that Peoples is an unbelievable type of name, but at least replace it with something generic. Solitano is a name that represents a specific nationality, which is something I just didn’t understand. Change a book’s story all you want but whats the purpose in changing a name?
If you are looking for a movie to go see, see “The Silver Linings Playbook.” I am not a romantic-comedy girl, I actually despise them, but this movie doesn’t even fall into one specific category. It was awesome and I would hope that everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.
Mook Rating – ★★★★★