On the way home from vacation, I finished my last book on the first flight. I went into the airport bookstore and picked The Silver Linings Playbook, because I thought the movie looked interesting, and I like to read a book before seeing the movie.
Verdict: I really liked this book. The movie was a huge disappointment.
I hate to be one of those people who is all "The book was WAY BETTER than the movie!" but in this case, it has to be said. I understand that certain changes have to be made in the interest of time. Another big issue is that the book is written in the first person, from the main character's point of view, so if he is thinking something, the author can just write it out. In the movie, unless there is a voice-over, there are certain things that are difficult to communicate. A few big complaints (and these contain spoilers, so stop reading if you plan on reading the book or seeing the movie):
- Both main characters are way more awkward and crazy in the book. Movie Pat is very self-aware, while Book Pat is pretty delusional. In the book, Pat and Tiffany barely talk at all, and it is very awkward. In the movie, they have these big discussions. Their whole relationship is completely different.
- In the book, Pat is in the "bad place" for 4ish years, and only thinks it was a few months. That's a big deal when he gets out, that everyone is trying to avoid talking about what year it is, etc. He also doesn't tell us what happened with his wife, and why he had to go to the bad place. We don't learn that until the very end, and he seems to be in denial, or not remember it until the very end. In the movie, he's only in the mental institution for 8 months, and is totally aware of what happened and why he was there, and just lays it out very factually to his therapist. (which leads me back to my first point, that he's way too self-aware in the movie)
- The Dad character is COMPLETELY different in the movie. Again, a huge part of the book is Pat's strained relationship with his parents, and their marriage issues. Book Dad is a closed off jerk who won't hardly speak to Pat, and the only way they start to connect is through football. Movie Dad is basically a helicopter parent and wants to talk all the time, and randomly has a gambling problem. It really changed the dynamic of the story.
- The age difference between Jennifer Lawrence (22) and Bradley Cooper (38) was also a little creepy in the movie. Book Tiffany is supposed to be a couple years older than Pat. In the movie, their ages are never discussed, but she is obviously way younger than him. It doesn't help that I think of her as Katniss (16). I think she's a great actress, but I would have preferred someone more age-appropriate!
Have you read this book or seen the movie? What did you think of it?