BOSTON (CBS) – At the Academy Awards on Sunday night, one of the odds-on favorites to nab a lot of Oscars is the film “Silver Linings Playbook.” The movie screenplay is based on a book written here in Massachusetts.

The huge hit has touched a lot of people, and led many to talk more openly about mental health issues in families. WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben spoke with the author Matthew Quick.

“My father-in-law here in Mass. is a huge Red Sox fan,” he says, but it’s the saga of a family of volatile Philadelphia Eagles fanatics that has Holden author waiting to see if “Silver Linings Playbook” wins Golden Oscars.

After making $100 million and eight Oscar nominations, did he have any idea this would become such a mega-hit? “I thought I’m just trying to write a great story to create a novel that will sell,” said Quick,  “and hoping it would make me a published novelist.”

Hope is at the heart of Quick’s story of a young man named Pat – not unlike himself – coping with depression. “At the time when I was at home in Holden with my in-laws writing in their basement I felt very much the same way.”

Three years writing in that basement in Central Mass. had people worried about him. “Pat is obsessively working out in a basement, I was obsessively writing in my in-laws basement,” he said. Bradley Cooper plays Pat as he struggles to stay positive with an eccentric Dad played by Robert De Niro.

How did Quick feel when he heard Robert De Niro? “It was mind-blowing!”

Pat finds his silver lining in an understanding relationship with Tiffany played by Jennifer Lawrence.

Quick says, “It seems like every person I meet has a story that they can relate to either in the book or the movie.”

As the character Pat yells to his parents: “Can’t we just say let’s have a good ending for the story?”

It is a good ending that feels like it’s just the beginning of a huge personal and professional success.

“Of course when you get a movie deal and eight Oscar nominations – everyone’s on board – and that’s the silver lining.”

More with Matthew Quick

He calls the novel his best because it’s resonated with audiences, Oscar wins or not.

The De Niro character tells his son: “When life reaches out with a moment like this it’s a sin if you don’t reach back. I’m telling you it’s sin if you don’t reach back.”

“I feel like we’ve already won with this conversation about mental health happening all over the country,” says Quick. “I think that’s a beautiful thing and this would be just a little more beautiful.”

Matthew Quick says his message to young people who have mental health issues is, “You are not alone. Things can get better.”

And things are only getting better for him – he’s already sold the movie rights to his next novel to Steven Spielberg.

Paula Ebben


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