I have been trying to think of a time when I saw a movie first and then read the book it was adapted from. But I can't think of any. I've seen plenty of movies without reading the book, but that's because I don't intend to read the book–everything from Dr. Zhivago to the Harry Potter series (yes, really) to Fight Club. If I'm intending to read the book, I won't see the movie until I do.
Unless I wasn't aware that there was a book! This is what happened with Silver Linings Playbook. You might remember that I finally saw this movie over the winter and loved it. Then I found out that it was based on a novel by Matthew Quick that had gotten great reviews, so I decided to give it a try. And guess what, I loved the book too! I easily read the whole thing in two evenings and enjoyed every minute of it.
I can't remember the last time I was rooting so hard for a protagonist. The Pat of the book has a bigger hole to climb out of than the Pat of the movie, but he has such charm and soul that I fell in love right away. He's perhaps the epitome of the "unreliable narrator," but rather than write him off, I found myself squarely on his side and wanting him to make it.
I see now that in my movie review I mentioned the overly tidy Hollywood-ized ending, and that was before I'd read the book! The book does go on for quite a bit longer than the movie, and with some different plot twists, but nothing too earth-shattering. The main difference for me was Pat's father, who is a total jerk in the book. In the movie, DeNiro plays him rough-around-the-edges but still with great heart. The main characters of Pat and Tiffany were faithfully reproduced.
So: If you haven't read or seen Silver Linings Playbook, I heartily recommend both. But I'm not sure which should come first! Anyone out there see the movie after having read the book?