"... impossibly hoping to see a single cloud break free of a nimbostratus.”

20 January 2013


"Life is not a PG feel-good movie. Real life often ends badly. Literature tries to document this reality, while showing us it is still possible for us to endure nobly."
- The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

And that, my friends, is probably the best reason why I love reading books and watching movies.

I first learned about The Silver Linings Playbook when Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper were already shooting the movie. I didn't even know it was based on a novel; I only found out after a quick search for *cough* movie torrents *cough* gave eBook results instead. I decided to read it first even though I know that meant setting myself up for disappointment when I finally get to watch it. I mean, with the exception of The Perks of Being a Wallflower,  it's very rare for movie versions to live up to the novels, right?

Anyway, the book tells about the story of two people, Pat and Tiffany, who deal with their respective mental and emotional issues. Pat just went out of a mental hospital that he refers to as the "bad place" because "no one believes in silver linings or love or happy endings". He has no recollection of the reason why he was sent there, he only knows he has to get better so apart time will be over and he can get back together with his wife Nikki. Meanwhile, Tiffany is a widow who spiraled to depression after her husband died. She blames herself for what happened and thus spent a lot of time being angry with herself. With the help of their families, friends, football, and dance, they strive to battle their illness and come out much better.

I cannot say it's the best book I've read, but I still liked it because if anything, it has a lot of heart. It was written on Pat's point of view so it provides readers a glimpse on how difficult and confusing the whole situation is for him. I don't know what I would have done if I were in his place, all I know is that I wanted to be his friend and root for him in his countless inner battles and commend him in his goal to practice being kind over being right. And although I couldn't care less about football, there were a lot of humorous touches that make you feel like you were sharing a private joke with a friend.

As for the movie... where do I even begin? They changed so many things (even Pat's last name) that it would've made more sense if they gave it a completely different title. I couldn't make sense of what I watched the other night, I just remember a lot of yelling. Bradly Cooper was fit as hell, Jennifer Lawrence was a vixen in every scene, and Robert de Niro was a darling, but I didn't really like the movie. I know movies have more limitations than novels do, but I hope the characters were more fleshed out. For example, Pat and Tiffany have a lot more nuances that the movie didn't really show, and whereas in the book you can sympathize with Nikki for a bit, in the film you just end up thinking she's nothing more than a cheating b*tch. I also didn't think the film gave justice to Pat's parents, brother Jake, and therapist Cliff, but oh well. I can't believe it got a Best Picture nod at the Oscars when The Dark Knight Rises didn't even get a single nomination, but what can you do. Yes, I'm still bitter.

When I was in Elementary, I remember a particular Christian Living class where our teacher discussed silver linings. I remember my 11-year-old self thinking how beautiful the idea was, and how I would always keep it in mind. I admit there have been several times that that wasn't the case, but I'm glad I got this book to remind me that "if clouds are blocking the sun, there will always be a silver lining that reminds me to keep on trying."

3 comments:

Pretty Ugly said...

You had me at "mental issues". LOL. A friend recommended this movie to me as well, and I didn't know it was based on a novel. I'll try to look for the book too. :)

krissy said...

I recommend the book more than the movie, or maybe it's better if you watch the movie first before you read the book :)

Mrs. A to Z.♥ said...

i love reading as well :) but i haven't heard of this yet. I think I would like to try it out when I finishb "the happiness project" :) thanks for the review, krissy! I'm always on the look out for new reads!