"I am practising being kind over being right."
I read The Silver Linings Playbook a really really long time ago now (OK, I finished it the day after my birthday, so... 3 months ago. But that's ages!) and even though I read it in two days which normally means I REALLY like something, in reality it was the first book I read on my Kindle and basically I was just overly excited about that. About the book? Not so much.
So, time went on and I still hadn't said anything about The Silver Linings Playbook, so I thought, 'why not wait to watch the movie and discuss them together?' Which was an excellent brain idea (nice work, brain) and meant that I didn't have to think about it for a while because I was on a payment holiday from Lovefilm. So, I got the movie and watched it, and now it's more than a month later and I still have nothing to say. So obviously this is going to be SO FUN to read. You're welcome!
OK, my initial thought has to be that I liked the movie better than the book. This isn't just because Jennifer Lawrence was there (I mean, it doesn't hurt. But I liked her character in the book plenty, too) but more because it takes the end point of the book (the 'big reveal' about Patrick's condition) and plops it basically at the beginning, so that with the film you actually get to see Patrick's recovery with a full awareness of his condition, whereas in the book, he's more just wandering around acting simple and confused and sort of like there's nothing wrong. There are merits to both methods, I suppose, but the movie was less annoying and Pat was less... simple-seeming, and that was definitely a bonus.
All of which meant, of course, that the movie was able to be a lot more rom-com-esque than the book, which isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world, and meant that the central storyline wasn't completely based around American Football (GOD that was off putting in the book. I mean, I seriously barely knew what anyone was talking about for half of it.) and was a lot more focused on Tiffany and Patrick and the evolution of their relationship. So that was fun.
Possibly the best change the film made, though, was changing the character of Patrick's dad (Pat Snr, if you will). In the book he's withholding, fiercely and almost life-cripplingly (his family's lives, not his own) superstitious, completely unsupportive of his mentally ill son and his wife who is trying to care for their mentally ill son, and just generally cold and ungiving. In the movie? He's Robert freaking De Niro. But also, he tries, which is the the main distinguishing feature between the two characters, and which makes movie-dad my favourite. I mean, I could cry at how good he is at trying to be a good dad, mostly because of how terrible book-dad is. And it's not even that book-dad isn't a true representation, it's just that movie-dad is so much more pleasant to be around. And he's Robert De Niro, so yeah.
Now, much as I do genuinely prefer the movie and enjoy it more than the book and so on, I managed to screw it up for myself somewhat by being a moron. So here's the thing: I was watching the movie, and even as I was doing so, my idiot brain was going 'well, this is wrong', 'why have they done that now?' and even, FFS, 'Why doesn't it revolve around American Football more?' And I don't even know why! I genuinely approve of basically all the changes the movie made (I even approve of Bradley Cooper! And I almost never approve of Bradley Cooper!) and still my brain was telling me it was wrong. I can only put it down to a lifetime of disapproving of the changes movies make to books, so I'm now hardwired to complain about it in my brain. Like an idiot.
So. The idiocy of my brain aside, I like the movie. The book was fine, but nothing special, and the movie was better- although, if I'm honest, neither of them really lived up to my expectations. Still, all things considered, I would totally watch the film again but I probably wouldn't re-read the book, and that is basically all you need to know about which form I think one should experience Silver Linings Playbook in.
I very much approve of Bradley Cooper. ;)ReplyDelete
I saw this movie, but haven't read the book. That almost NEVER happens. Now I'm wondering if I did the right thing after all. Hmm!
Ewwwwwwww Jennifer, no! He's so... slimy seeming. (Slimy seeming? Is that what I want to say? Maybe...)Delete
I was really not that into the book, and I definitely liked the movie better, but you know, everyone's different! Plus it's a pretty quick read so I wouldn't say don't read it as a definitive thing. But, you know, don't bother ;)
Everything you said about movie vs book AGREED.ReplyDelete
I'm glad I'm not the only one that didn't like simple Pat. I preferred seeing someone who is intelligent BUT has a mental health issue. Because these things are not mutually exclusive.
I was happy there was so much less football in the movie. Less football/more dancing, kthxbai.
DeNiro dad actually WANTING his son to get better but suffering with his own mental issues. So much better
WOOP. Agreement is cool :)Delete
You are SO RIGHT about simple Pat. Because actually it's kind of insulting to be like 'well, he used to be a teacher but then he WENT CRAZY and now he's super simple and stuff.' But DAMN I forgot to include in this how it seems more like he's suffered a head injury than is actually mentally ill in the book. IT MAKES NO SENSE.
Dancing>American football. Always.
Yesssssssss. Whereas book dad was totally suffering with his own mental issues but they made him care about NO ONE else. It was very tiring.
Can I make a small correction, dancing > ALL football.Delete
We've got 3 freaking codes of it over here and I am DONE with it.
Correction fully accepted.Delete
Ha! My thoughts were (are still, I guess) the exact opposite of yours. Loved the book hated the film - I didn't even finish it because all the actors and plot felt wrong (they even took out Kenny G and that was the funniest part) and romantic comedies and me are enemies. So I ffw'd to the dance recital, which sucked, and then I turned it off and went to bed.ReplyDelete
Not my best spent evening.
Also (because I'm too lazy to go comment on the right post), Mumintrollen was originally written in Swedish. I did not know this, so thanks for making me discover new things about stuff :)
But but but but Jennifer Lawrence! And Robert De Niro! I mean... I agree that the casting doesn't necessarily fit with the way the characters are in the book, but the movie is so different anyway that I don't think it matters- but then, I say this from not really liking the book, and liking the movie fine, so yeah! And I liked the dance recital!!Delete
But anyway. THAT IS AWESOME THAT YOU LOOKED THAT UP, and clearly I didn't know that either and I'm happy to know that Moomin was originally written in Swedish! This will definitely be useful knowledge to me someday, I can just feel it!
Well, since I thought the movie was just ok (man was it overhyped!!!!!!!!!!!!), I guess I feel comfortable never having to read the actual book. Thanks Laura! Mission accomplished. :)ReplyDelete
But I know just what you mean about constantly comparing. I'm trying to watch the Under the Dome TV series and even though I KNOW it's totally different and that SK is OK with all of the changes, I'm still having a tough time reconciling them in my brain. Doesn't help that Scott keeps asking, "What's this all about?" "What's going on?" "Who's that?" to which I have to say I DON'T KNOW, IT'S NOT THE BOOK I READ!!! Usually lots and lots of space between reading and watching helps.
Except for Great Gatsby where the book made no sense until I saw the movie. ;)
THAT'S the book/movie I was trying to think of. I've been doing the same thing while watching Under the Dome. I don't even have someone questioning me about who the characters are and I still can't stop going "THAT'S NOT WHAT HAPPENED IN THE BOOK" even though ultimately I don't care if a movie/tv show/whatever stays true to the actual plot points of a book.Delete
Trish, OMG was that movie overhyped! The whole SLP thing was, really, I think. Hence the not enjoying either as much as it seemed like I was supposed to!Delete
Ooh, oooh, ooh, Under the Dome! Is the miniseries at least good though? Sooooo many Stephen King things are not... Obvs I haven't read the book yet, but I still appreciate the King info! And WHAT IS THIS PROBLEM WE ALL HAVE?! Madness, is what it is. MADNESS!
Yessssss to The Great Gatsby, Trish. All the yes. I actually REMEMBER events from the book now!
Quit your timeline and skip ahead to Under the Dome. You have my permission. You're welcome. (And of course the book is better...)Delete
Yeeeah, the lack of focus on football in the movie was weird. And the end was SUPER-romcom-y. Which felt like a shift in tone. But I totally agree that the changing of the dad's personality was an excellent choice.ReplyDelete
Ooooh, so we... Half agree? That's cool/never happens! I really really wasn't down with Book dad, and even though I could kind of deal with hating him, it was just so much easier to watch someone try to NOT be an asshole. Nice one, De Niro.Delete