Movie: Silver Linings Playbook

"Silver Linings Playbook"

Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) has lost everything — his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert DeNiro) after spending eight months is a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet-and to share their family’s obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. When Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he’ll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.” — (C) Weinstein

The Silver Linings Play Book is one of the first books I’ve posted about in this blog. Which is why, when I found out that there was going to be a movie, I knew I have to watch and write about it. So here I am. Writing about it. But first–

I loved the book. More so now that it’s been almost three years since I last read it. Rose-tinted glasses and all. And this, I think, might have been detrimental to my enjoyment of the film version. Because, as it stands, I do believe that Silver Linings Playbook was a good movie–it just wasn’t good enough.

Admittedly, I did set expectations. With Jennifer Lawrence winning award after award, and the rest of the cast getting equal amounts of accolades, I thought the film would offer something more. What we get is actually a watered down version of the book. Not that there’s anything wrong with that–unless you’re a fan of the source material.

Sure, I understand that they can’t fit in the whole book into one movie. And some liberties have to be taken to make the characters more film-friendly. What I don’t get is why they didn’t use Total Eclipse of the Heart for the movie. Was the rights to the song too pricey? Because I’m sure they had enough money to get the rights for it.

And, okay, I’m not really complaining because they didn’t get the song. My main beef with the film, I guess, is how they elevated the dance in terms of importance–and yet, didn’t give it the importance it deserved. Look into the lyrics of Total Eclipse of the Heart, and put it side by side to what the source material (and the film) is about.

The dance plays a major part in the book, but it’s not the centerpiece. In the film, it ties things together. And yet, in the book, you can really see the significance of the song and the dance–of the whole thing. In the film, it’s just to win a stupid bet.

I’m probably going to go on and on about this, so I’m cutting myself short.

The film is nice. It’s good. It’s totally worth the ticket price. Just… Just make sure you haven’t read the book yet before you go and watch the film.

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