Sunday, August 22, 2010

Eat Pray Love - Movie Review

Eat Pray Love (PG-13) 133 minutes B-
A New York state of whine

Starring Julia Roberts, Billy Crudup, James Franco, Richard Jenkins, Javier Bardem and Viola Davis

The things I liked most about Elizabeth Gilbert's 2006 memoir are the same things I liked about the film adaptation- the longing, the hurt and the wanting to escape it all and reconnect to one's core self. Unfortunately most of us can't afford to spend a year traveling, eating and mediating but luckily through the aforementioned mediums we can live vicariously.

Eat Pray Love is fairly realistic to a point, a the catastrophic break up (in this case a divorce), the inevitable doomed rebound relationship and soul searching that makes you question everything including the ability to live and love. Naturally the book trumps film in the details department by providing grittier insight to her true emotional and mental state. But when her journey to Rome, India and Bali begins so does the disconnect to anything I could ever relate too.

First stop is Rome (“eat”), in many ways my favorite segment, yet the most uneven and superficial. India (“pray”), probably the most substantial and heartwarming, while Bali (“love”), seemed the most indifferent and necessary.

The film features an outstanding cast that includes a couple Oscar winners and a few Oscar nominated actors/actress, none of which shined brighter than Richard Jenkins; he played the "Richard from Texas" character.

Julia Roberts brings charm and charisma to the role of Elizabeth Gilbert, however a lesser known actress probably would've have been more effective. Throughout the film I found myself watching Julia Roberts play Julia Roberts instead of Elizabeth Gilbert being portrayed by Julia Roberts.

I'm not one for spoof films but I would be intrigued if someone adapted Andrew Gottlieb's 2009 parody Drink Play F*ck: One Man's Search For Anything Across Ireland, Las Vegas and Thailand.

EPL was enjoyable if not a little exhausting, but all in all it's a worthy adaptation.


RW said...

Bingo! Would have been better if ANYONE but Julia played Gilbert. Julia is Julia, you can't get away from "Julia Roberts is playing Elizabeth Gilbert" and get lost in this movie. She does not make the character her own!

Anonymous said...

Great post, I am almost 100% in agreement with you