Reviews

Eat Pray Love

2

Fidget Yawn Weep…

Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love review - A career as a successful travel journalist, a swanky New York apartment and a post-marital fling with James Franco: things don’t appear to be going too badly for Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts).

Yet still, she can’t find her “centre”. She used to have “an appetite for life” and she’s lost it. Woe. Woe is her. Clearly what this woman needs is a 12-month voyage of self-discovery around the globe.

Roberts’ character is difficult to feel sorry for before she sets off on this postcardperfect self-healing binge. She becomes near impossible to like as it becomes apparent we’re watching a huge holiday video.

You know those montages on A Place In The Sun that make everywhere look like paradise? There’s a lot of that.

Eat Pray Love sounds like a self-help solution before you get past the title, and Glee creator Ryan Murphy is indulgent with our time as well as the expensive location shooting: 140 minutes.

The original book – a memoir by the real Elizabeth Gilbert – has legions of fans, though. Those able to ignore the narcissism of it all will simply relax into Roberts’ leisurely gallivanting.

They’ll enjoy the colourful charismatic types that surround her: Richard Jenkins’ grumbling semi- Buddhist musings; a Balinese guru issuing mantras like a shrink with a prayer mat; Javier Bardem knocking her off her bike then falling in love with her.

On some levels, it’s just easygoing tourism: a cinema-priced round-the-world ticket. But the introspection, accompanied by a voiceover as well-suited to a PowerPoint presentation as a movie, goes on and on as Roberts seeks her “balance”.

By the time she lands on a theory she calls ‘The Physics Of The Quest’, you’ll wish you were homeward bound.
 

Verdict:

A neverending, inward-looking travelogue that’ll only find love from devotees of Gilbert’s writings. From coast to coast, Roberts coasts.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • jillianmaduray

      Oct 5th 2010, 16:33

      Really good book, but the movie leaves out too many important bits...

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    • jillianmaduray

      Oct 5th 2010, 16:34

      5

      Really good book, but the movie leaves out too many important bits...

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    • sevdamm

      Feb 25th 2011, 9:48

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    • FBEXanthopoul

      Jan 21st 2012, 15:58

      2

      www.unsungfilms.com by Eleni Antonaropoulou Some books are just made to be turned into films, and “eat pray love” was definitely one of them. It had a huge impact on the people who read it. I heard about “Eat pray love” after everybody had already read it. My friends talked about how it changed their lives and their points of view, how they’ve seen the light, and finally realized how they should be leading each day. It sounded too good to be true. Personally, I don’t believe that there is one book out there with the ability to change an entire life, so I read it, weeks before it was released in the cinema as an adaptation. I enjoyed the beginning. A young, married woman lying on her “perfect” bathroom floor crying and feeling miserable with her life. I admit that reading this was captivating. It’s easy to relate to a character who is utterly miserable in a life that she probably never chose, who struggles to find happiness in a life where things just happen to go wrong. I also agree that when you reach a certain breaking point in life, you should definitely do something about it and taking a year off, traveling around the world a good idea. Italy, India, Thailand – I thought that it would be a really interesting book, but unfortunately it was not. Halfway through the book I lost interest. Naturally, Italy was funny and reading about it was exciting, but India and Bali didn’t meet expectations. Despite liking the initial idea of the story, I found that somewhere along the way, it lost itself. Having this in mind, I went to see the movie hoping that the photography and the places that I would see might make it more interesting, especially the parts of the book that I found boring, but once again, I was wrong. For one, I know that Julia Roberts is an Oscar-winning actress, so I kind of understood the fact that she was cast. But she did not pull off a 30 year old having an emotional breakdown. Instead, she appeared to be a 45 year old experiencing that inevitable mid-life crisis. It’s not the same, believe me. James Franco as “David” is also an inadequate choice, since in the book, “David” is not just a rebound relationship. He is a really nice guy, with his own problems -he is a man – with whom “Liz” really falls in love. However, despite all these continuous flash-backs in the movie while she travels, neither her true desperation during her marriage nor her genuine love for “David” are obvious in the movie, meaning that it fails to convey why exactly “Liz” is willing to give up her fortune and take some time off on her own to find out what she wants. The traveling begins with Italy as the first stop, the most interesting part in the book and of the movie, with amazing scenery and delicious Italian cuisine, so that you totally get the whole “eat” thing. The following stop is India where “Liz” finds it difficult to meditate and adjust to her new reality, something that is well presented in the movie. The idea of Javier Bardem appearing in the next stop, Thailand, raised my expectations for a more appealing ending. The man is an ideal choice. He appears to be this perfect 40 something year old, really cool, attractive and easy going guy. The movie omitted several things mentioned in the book, probably to save time, something that made this romance less romantic, exciting and lasting meaning that the “love” part didn’t appear as strong and revealing as expected. Overall a moderate book, and a moderate movie. Punch line: “Believe in love again” . Eleni Antonaropoulou at www.unsungfilms.com

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