David O. Russell, who received Oscar nominations for both writing and directing "Silver Linings Playbook," said of Matthew Quick's source novel, "Although 'Silver Linings Playbook' was fiction, it was likewise filled with very intense authentic people in a very specific local world the author knew well: emotional homes, people under great pressure, surprising drama, and unintended comedy. I am very drawn to these worlds, I find them fascinating. A certain place, a certain time, certain foods, certain rituals, unlike anything else, yet all the emotions and yearnings for love and respect and livelihood are deeply universal."
More fascinating for Russell was the deeply personal hold the story had for him, since his 18-year-old son had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. "My son, I've been through this with my son and his friend, and that's why I did the movie," he told the Hollywood Reporter. "So when it's personal, you know that you're coming from the right place. You're not coming from a reckless place. You're coming from a very careful place."
In fact, Russell gave his son Matthew a small part, that of an obtrusive and rather uncaring neighbor.