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The Silver Linings Playbook

Kunvuth MonyKanchna / Khmer Times Share:

Despite his love for his wife Nikki, Pat Peoples is an emotionally-detached husband who refuses to offer the care and affection his wife so needs. Badly wanting to be loved back, Nikki cheats on her husband with a colleague. When Pat finds out, he becomes physically violent and ends up in a mental health facility he dubs as “bad place”.

Trying to get back on his feet, Pat works on becoming physically fit and emotionally stable so he cound end “apart-time” and become the perfect husband for Nikki.

Pat always believes in silver linings – when bad things happen, there’s something positive coming out of it. He believes in happy endings, like those in fairy tales. He believes that when he’s ready, Nikki will come back for him.

But Pat gets confused at how the people around him think Nikki is the one at fault. Pat knows that it was him who hurt Nikki. He knows that his inability to be a loving and attentive husband had drove Nikki away from him.

What he also doesn’t get are his loss of memory and his sense of denial. Everyone but Pat knows that Nikki will never come back, their “apart-time” is permanent, and that happy endings are just for fiction. Nikki has already moved on with her life and has even started a new family.

After Pat leaves the “bad place”, he moves in with his loving mother and an emotionally-distant father. While he tries to reconnect with his family and old friends, Pat is introduced to another emotionally-troubled nymphomaniac widow named Tiffany. While she’s still grieving for her late husband, Tiffany couldn’t help but fall in love with Pat, largely due to his hopeless love and commitment to Nikki.

Pat, meanwhile, is hugely disturbed by the attention Tiffany is giving him. Back when Pat still believes “apart-time” is just temporary, he thinks Tiffany is an obstacle, a burden in his path to a fairy tale ending with his beloved wife.

“The Silver Linings Playbook” is full of wit and bittersweet reality. People usually crave for happy endings which are not always necessarily true. Who would want his happiness snatched away, anyway? No one. But no one, too, will go through life without at least a little taste of suffering.

“The Silver Linings Playbook” was turned into a major motion picture in 2012 starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, directed by David O. Russell.

Although the general concept of the story is there, big chunks of details have been changed to avoid too much repetition. Some characters and sub-plots have also been added in the film that were not originally in the book.

While the book contains too many emotions, I think the movie came out a little sloppy.

Author: Matthew Quick
Publication: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008

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