‘Liz Gilbert (Roberts) had everything a modern woman is supposed to dream of having – a husband, a house, a successful career – yet like so many others, she found herself lost, confused, and searching for what she really wanted in life. Newly divorced and at a crossroads, Gilbert steps out of her comfort zone, risking everything to change her life, embarking on a journey around the world that becomes a quest for self-discovery. In her travels, she discovers the true pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy; the power of prayer in India, and, finally and unexpectedly, the inner peace and balance of true love in Bali.’
Elizabeth Gilberts book ‘Eat Pray Love’ has been a New York Times paperback nonfiction bestseller for over 182 weeks. The popularity of the book seems to be snowballing, picking up hordes of women young-and-old alike. Negative reviews claim it to be self indulgent, and hard to relate to because of the unusual situation that the main character Liz Gilberts (Julia Roberts) finds herself in. I am sure most of us would love to be able to just take off for a year, not have to work, and just go exploring the world. I am fairly certain (since I have been there myself), that your money wouldn’t last for very long if you decided to live in Rome for four months! Anyhow, positive reviews praise the book for its humourous account of her intriguing and substantive journey. I think that the people who enjoyed the book will enjoy the movie.
Liz Gilberts is unhappy in her marriage to Stephen (Billy Crudup) and unsure of her place in life. After a painful divorce, and some soul searching whilst living on the couch of a close mate, Liz meets a young actor, David (James Franco) who serves as a distraction and satisfies her for a time. He still isn’t enough for her, as there seems to be a void in Liz that she doesn’t know how to fill. So as the title suggests, Liz sets out to eat in Rome, pray in India and love in Bali. That in itself might sound a bit cheesy for most. It is a nice idea though, and I can’t say I have seen a movie like this before.
So, in Rome the extreme close-ups of some seriously-appetizing-looking-traditional-spaghetti and cheesy pizza and other Italian cuisine made me salivate as I watched Roberts devour it. There were some real home truths pointed out about the way western women view themselves, and how Americans feel guilty about indulging (I feel that Australians are the same). I felt that I related to this section of the movie, and will make an effort from now on to enjoy my ‘indulgences’ and not feel guilty about enjoying my food!
In India we are introduced to Richard-from-Texas (Richard Jenkins) who did a good job at adding some drama to the storyline, and helped Liz seek answers to her questions, and find forgiveness. He played a good part, and I liked the dynamic between these two characters the best.
In Bali we are introduced to Philipe (Javier Bordem) who seemed to make the older ladies in the audience swoon. I was eavesdropping on other peoples conversations and apparently he is ‘just gorgeous’. I personally find him to be a bit weird, but his character was definitely nicer than the one he played in ‘No Country for Old Men’, that much is true. Liz is forced to make some decisions, which man will she choose (if any)? If you have read the book then you know the answer. For those of you who haven’t… off you go!
The scenery in this film is incredible; it gives the viewer a taste of Rome, India and Bali, and left me feeling the need to pack a suitcase and go exploring. The only problem I had with this movie is that it went for so long. It was almost two and a half hours long! A bit epic for such a simple plot. Nevertheless, it was entertaining.
I give this movie three and a half out of five stars.