Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook

It was easy to see why the novel, Silver Linings Playbook (by Matthew Quick) was turned into a film. The short chapters made for quick scenes. The characters were lovably quirky. The language was cinematic. There was even a chapter written with a cinematic montage of the dance-training.
The film was true to the novel in the way it followed the development of the romantic relationship between Pat and Tiffany, but the book was better able to explore Pat's other relationships. His father, brother, therapist, best friend and mother all help support Pat, but we are also able to read his insights into their personalities as well. No one is perfect. Pat's mental illness doesn't stop him from making great observations.

As part of his self-improvement plan Pat strives to be kind, rather than right. This point was driven home on more than one occasion. The dance routine he practises with Tiffany becomes a metaphor for Pat's other relationships. Most of which could be labeled dysfunctional, well-intentioned, imperfect, but still loving.

I got a kick out of Pat's literary criticism, as he makes his way through some American classics. His obsession for Nikki drives him to read everything on her class syllabus so he can impress her with his knowledge when their 'apart time' ends. In Pat's opinion, The Bell Jar, Farewell to Arms, Catcher and the Rye, The Great Gatsby are all too depressing and should be banned from the classroom in favour of stories with silver linings.

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