Book to Movie: The Silver Linings PLaybook by Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook is my favorite movie. I loved the movie since the first time I saw it. Not only is the movie filmed very close to where I live, the story captured me in an emotional way. I felt changed by the movie. Realizing that the movie was inspired by a novel written by Matthew Quick, I knew I had to read The Silver Linings Playbook. After finally reading the story, I am shocked that the book and movie are complete opposites.

As many book lovers know, movies are rarely similar to the books. Some book-to-movie adaptations seem as if their only purpose is to ruin the story for its original fans; while others seem to compliment the story. No matter what the movie does for the original book, they are never completely alike. Is a movie adaptation allowed to be different? That is for the reader to decide.

The Silver Linings Playbook‘s book-to-movie adaptation was the most drastic change in a story that I have ever witnessed. When I mentioned this to my mom, a fellow lover of the movie, she asked me which was better. In all honesty, it’s impossible to compare the book and movie because it is like comparing two different stories.

The biggest difference is Pat’s mental health. The movie doesn’t portray how serious Pat’s mental illness is. In the book, Pat had to stay at the facility for four years as opposed to the eighteen months mentioned in the movie. Also, in the book, Pat is unaware of Nikki cheating on him and what he did to the guy. Pat is unaware of Nikki divorcing him and that she is now married to another man until the end of the novel. Pat’s ignorance allows him to naively believe that happy ending always happen and that he and Nikki are still in love. He is obsessed with reconnecting with Nikki and refuses to believe that she does not want him.

Another change is Pat’s reaction to Tiffany when she pretended that she was Nikki in the letters. In the book, Pat is devastated. The book portrays his feelings in the way they should have been. He spent years clinging to the idea of a happy ending with Nikki. He believed that Nikki was writing to him only to find out it was Tiffany. As any human, Pat was hurt and angry. In the movie, he appeared okay and wanted a relationship with Tiffany.

Tiffany and Pat’s relationship felt overly romanticized in the movie. Throughout the book, Pat was focused on reuniting with Nikki. Pat never saw Tiffany as a potential love interest until the end of the novel.

One change that bothered me was the dance recital. In the movie, it is seen as more professional. Also, the movie mentions that Tiffany and Pat did not perform well and that the recital was scored. However, in the book, the dance is a deep and meaningful piece that Tiffany and Pat worked hard to succeed at.

The final change I will mention is that Pat never sees Nikki in the book. Unlike the movie where Nikki shows up at the dance recital, he only sees her when he drives by her house at the end of the book and realizes that she is genuinely happy. Seeing Nikki content with her family was Pat’s ‘happy ending’. All he wanted was for Nikki to be happy and that was his closure. The movie makes it seem like Pat has a choice between Nikki and Tiffany which is false. Honestly, I do not believe that the Pat in the book would choose Tiffany if Nikki was at the dance recital.

Overall, I believe that both versions of The Silver Linings Playbook are amazing in their own unique ways. Both focus on different aspects of the story. I believe that one does not overshadow the other, but that they are two stories that loosely relate to each other. No matter what the relationship is between the book and the movie, I am still a fan of the story and believe it is something that people should read/watch.

Can Reading Change Your Perspective?

As a reviewer (at least prior to my long hiatus), I found that my opinion on a novel was greatly influenced by what I was experiencing as I read the book. That, as an avid reader, was what made reading unique and exciting. The idea that reading a certain book, at a specific moment in your life, may potentially change your perspective fascinated me. Before the Summer, I could tell you that reading was my form of therapy. Now, in a time where I need to examine my life, I am beginning to remember the love I once shared with reading.

For me, reading has always been my remedy. You know that one thing that could make you feel safe and at peace? Reading was that for me. Reading about people’s lives made me feel a sense of security. When I found a book that resembled the situations I was facing at the time, I was able to understand life better. Books made life clearer and helped me process things that were happening.

Flash forward to this year, I turned my back on reading. I left my books and my blog, and for a while, I did not care. I began to grow up and think that reading was not important and, though I hate to say it now, lame. What I did not realize when I turned my back from reading was that I started becoming a really bad person. I began to make choices that weren’t positive. I lost the direction that I was following and that was all my fault. The more poor choices I made, the less I cared about reading. There is no denying that I became someone who was not respectable. In fact, it is hard to fathom how the person I am today was a speaker in a panel only a year ago. However, it took a major event in my life to make me realize that the path I was on was not where I wanted to go.

Now, I am trying to get back to the ‘old Marissa’. I am aware of all the mistakes I made and know there is no one else to blame. I began to read again because I need my sense of security back. In fact, my friend has given me some of the books that helped her find herself again. The truth is, it is going to take a while but I am hopeful. Already, I have read two books that have helped me understand the person I have become. They have made me realize the steps I need to take to fix myself. One book that I read, The Silver Linings Playbook, gave me a great quote to reflect on: “Well, you have adventures. All start out with troubles, but then you admit your problems and become a better person by working really hard, which it fertilizes the happy ending and allows it to bloom”. I am hopeful for my happy ending, however long it may take.

Overall, I am hopeful to rekindle my love for reading. Also, I am excited to talk to my fellow bookworms again. I miss you all so much and am so grateful to be back. I love you all.