I'm pretty thrilled right now because Silver Linings Playbook, one of my favorite movies of 2012, has been nominated for an Oscar. Actually, eight Oscars, including best picture, best actor (Bradley Cooper) and best actress (Jennifer Lawrence). I've seen the movie twice, once before reading the novel it's based on, and once after.
I went into the movie the first time not knowing too much about the story. I knew it was about this guy who'd just gotten out of a mental institution and was living with his parents, and I knew they'd filmed the movie in Philly, but that was it. I was mainly going because I'm obsessed with Jennifer Lawrence and will watch any movie she's in (including X-Men, and I'm really not a fan of superhero movies). I absolutely LOVED the movie and immediately put the book by Matthew Quick on my Christmas list. I usually read books before I see their movies, but I didn't have time to do that with SLP.
And I'm actually glad I saw the movie first. The book was pretty similar, but it ended a little differently. Rather, the ending was brought about through a slightly different series of events than the movie. (Sorry I'm being cryptic, I don't want to spoil the book or the movie for people who haven't seen it yet.) And I can see why. The movie ending might have been a little cliche for a book ending (but it worked perfectly in the movie), and the book ending might not have translated as powerfully to the screen because so much of it was internal. But the eventual result of each ending was the same, it's not like the movie took the ending in a totally different direction.
It's a little strange for me to say, but I like the movie more than the book. I think it's because the cast is superb. Bradley Cooper manages to be both funny and poignant as Pat (plus his dancing is excellent). Robert De Niro is fantastic as Pat's Eagles-obsessed father, and his game day superstitions make him endearing. The character of Pat's father is much more distant in the book (he doesn't want much to do with Pat), and I liked the movie verson of him much better. But the number one reason I love the movie is Jennifer Lawrence.
Tiffany, Jennifer's character, is honest and unapologetic. She's a little crazy but accepts it. She's complicated, and Jennifer's portrayal of her is amazing. In the book, Tiffany is in her early 30s, and the fact that Jennifer gave such an amazing performance at only 22 says a lot. The girl is talented. This is her second Oscar nomination for best actress, and my fingers are crossed for her!
To sum it up: See this movie. Read this book. In whatever order you please. The characters are complex and honest, and it's a great story about looking for the good in every situation.
Thoughts on books/movie adaptations? Have there been any movies you enjoyed more than their books?