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Eat Pray Love

Eay Pray Love

What she said:

He

This movie is epic….epically long that is.  It’s a shame, too, because there seems to be a lot of promise.  I like the idea of someone going on a year-long self-discovery excursion, and Julia Roberts is wonderful, as always.  But seriously, this movie was 45 minutes too long.  It really was lucky I was feeling open-minded and patient. 

Roberts plays Liz Gilbert (whose memoir the film is based on), who comes to the realization that her life is not all that she had hoped it would be.  She’s trapped in a marriage that she’s unsure about, with dreams that don’t fit the path she’s on.  She, rather spontaneously, files for divorce, rebounds with a much younger man, and then takes off for a three-part ‘round-the-world trip of self-discovery.  Her travels take her to Italy, which has never looked so beautiful, India, and Bali.  Gilbert seems to be looking for balance in her life, and a sense of spirituality, but ultimately it seems that her path to healing and inner peace means she must once again find love. 

After watching this film, I cannot say I feel any closer to myself, or that I’m more balanced.  Instead I just really, really want to go to Italy.  Oh, and I’m having some serious food cravings.  I think the potential was there for this to be a very deep and rewarding movie, but it somehow came out a little shallow.  Gilbert isn’t exactly likable.  She is at times while she’s on her quest, but you cannot help but feel for some of the people she stepped over to get there: her first husband, who really didn’t do much wrong (first time I ever sympathized for Billy Crudup), and young James Franco, whose heart she crushes.  She even gives Javier Bardem a bit of a hard time. 

I think you really have to be a patient, travel-loving chick to get through this movie.  It’s just way, way too long.  But the scenery is beautiful.

Diagnosis: Thumbs half up.

 

What he said:

He

I did not read the book this movie was based on – nor do I plan to – so do not expect a comparison to the source material. I don’t know a lot about the woman they are both based on and can only go off of based what I see on screen.

There will also be some minor spoilers in this review, because I feel it would be difficult to rate the movie without explaining some of the events covered in the film.

Eat Pray Love is the story about a woman named Liz (played by Julia Roberts). Liz is very unhappy in life. She spends countless hours awake at night crying about her current unhappiness.

The problem is, she doesn’t really tell anyone just how unhappy she is. The audience is equally as shocked by her desire for a divorce from her husband Steven (played by Billy Crudup) as he is. The movie – which is based on her own memoirs – seems to indicate this came out of nowhere.

I can respect someone wanting to get out of a situation that makes them unhappy. I can even respect her frustration with the way life can sometimes become boring or mundane. You all know what I’m talking about; that feeling of just walking through life, unable to break the cycle of boredom.What I can’t respect is the completely selfish way in which the woman chose to deal with these issues. She not only runs away from her problems, but does so without even hinting at the fact that she’s unhappy. How is anyone ever to help her if she won’t even tell them what’s wrong?

In an extremely cliché and predictable move, Liz finds comfort in a significantly younger man named David (played by James Franco). Without going into too much detail, she essentially does the same thing all over again. Except this time, she takes her running away to an all new level; she goes on some world tour to find herself. Oh, and if you think the way she breaks up with her husband was cold, wait until you see how she does it with the David character.

Again, I can not only identify with being unhappy, I respect her desire to get out of it instead of staying in an unhappy situation. But be an adult; respect those that are in the situation with you and treat them accordingly.

Anyways, Liz travels to Italy, India, and finally Bali in her quest to find out who she is and what she wants in life. These are some of the best parts of the movie as it is truly a gorgeous looking film. The food, sights, sounds, you name it. If nothing else, it’s a nice movie to look at.

On the final leg of the trip, she meets yet another man. This one is named Filipe and is played by Javier Bardem. Is he the one? Will Liz even let him be the one if he is? You’ll just have to watch to find out.

I remember this movie was torched by critics. They really laid into it. It got a 36% on Rotten Tomatoes. It was well-acted and as I mentioned before, looks fantastic, but it wasn't a very engaging or entertaining movie. The problem with the movie is the main character. She is extremely self-involved and that makes it hard to watch. To her credit, Julie Roberts does a great job at portraying this flawed character. However, she’s simply not someone you find yourself rooting for or even care about. I didn't care if she ever found happiness. Besides the manner in which she treats her relationships, who can actually afford to stop working for an entire year and travel the world? I’m supposed to feel sorry for someone like that? She is extremely unsympathetic. Liz may learn some lessons along the way, but not enough for this movie reviewer to do a 180 on her.

Prognosis: Thumbs down.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on March 23, 2011.

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