Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Movie Review: Eat, Pray, Love (2010)

Julia Roberts is the main character in this movie, so you can pretty much tell it's a chick flick. If you didn't realize it by looking at the movie poster, you certainly would have realized it by the time you sat down with your popcorn and soda. Groups of women had come to see the movie. Now most of them know about the movie because it's the movie version of Eat, Pray, Love the novel. I haven't read the novel, after watching this movie, I don't think I will read the novel. The premise of Eat, Pray, Love is pretty standard. A young, successful woman has an identity crisis and runs away to Europe. In this movie, the difference is that the woman runs away to Rome, then Naples, then India, then Bali.

Ms. Roberts plays Liz Gilbert, a young writer who realizes that life with her indecisive husband wasn't happiness and decides to make a change. The character is pleasant enough and Roberts gives us glimpses of depth in the character, however the movie doesn't really flesh it out. The viewer isn't really clear about why she's so unhappy in the marriage. There is an early scene where the Gilbert character realizes that she's so unhappy that she decides to pray to God to give her an answer. Then she meets another character that influences her to go to his yogi's ashram in India. How she thought this would help her in her quest for fulfillment isn't really clear.
The Italian segment is pretty much one big cliche. The Italians have a zest for life because of food, family, and wild gestures while talking. It's kind of irritating that they have to knock down the American lifestyle in order to promote the Italian one. One Italian in the movie claims that Americans don't know how to take pleasure in doing nothing - which in italian is "dolce far niente". Obviously he's never seen a bunch of Americans in Starbucks. It also might be telling of the Italian lifestyle; if they do nothing a lot, they had better find some pleasure in it. The segments in India and Bali get the same facile treatment; it all looks just very exotic and colorful.
The movie is pleasant enough to sit through. What was unexpected are the songs that play throughout the movie, the soundtrack should be nice to play. If you're looking for diversion to fill up two hours, this movie will provide it.

Memorable Quotes

"Sometimes to lose balance for love is to keep balance in life."
"God dwells within you, as you."
"You have not had sex in a long time. I can tell by your knees."
Originally published 8/31/2010

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