Friday, May 17, 2013

Girl's Eye View: Silver Linings Playbook

Allow me to quickly introduce myself: My name is Kara, and I live over at www.karaschatter.com . I have no experience in the movie industry, other than watching and appreciating them. I thought I would offer up my movie reviewing skills, or lack thereof, to The Basement to give readers a female perspective on movies, new, old, good, and bad.  

When I first saw the preview for Silver Linings Playbook, I wasn’t 100% sold on the film. I’m not too sure what it was, but I wasn’t immediately drawn to it. Eventually, I read the book - which I ended up loving - so I thought I’d give the Oscar-nominated film a go.

I was really looking forward to sitting down and enjoying the film. I don’t know if it was because the book really got my hopes up or something else, but the film was just “OK” for me.

For those of you who haven’t read the book, it’s kind of a downer. Not in the “It’s a bad book” way but in the, “It’s kind of depressing and will make you look at life a different way,” way. I went into the film kind of expecting the same thing, except it was very, VERY different.

The main character, Pat (played by the always chiseled Bradley Cooper), suffers from bi-polarism and his mom (played by Jacki Weaver) busts him out of the funny farm against doctors suggestions. 

In the book, the release brings some struggles between Pat and his father (played by the always amazing Robert de Niro). Pat Sr. has a hard time accepting his son, while in the film, he welcomes him with open arms. In the book, there’s a lot of focus on football. I’m certain the producers cut back on this for the film to gain a wider-range of viewers. Football doesn’t exactly scream, “WATCH ME!” to female audiences, and while I wouldn’t classify SLP as a chick-flick, I think females are more drawn to it than males. (I find that if a movie doesn’t have blood, guts, zombies, boobs, or Bruce Willis, guys easily shrug a movie off.)

Anyway, the film does keep some key elements from the book - The dance competition, Pat’s determination to reconcile with his estranged wife, and Pat Sr.’s superstitious love for the Philadelphia Eagles, but I didn’t love how much they changed in regards to those elements.

Don’t get me wrong, the actors all did a really amazing job and did deserve all of those awards nominations, and Jennifer Lawrence as Pat’s equally unstable counterpart Tiffany was superb.

In the end, I suggest you either watch the film OR read the book, but not both. You’ll most likely be slightly disappointed in either one, depending on the route you take. I’ve read on various review sites that book-first folks are disappointed in the movie and vise-versa.

I’m going to give Silver Lining Playbook a Good because it was; It was just different, that’s all.
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