I was late to the Eat. Pray. Love. party. I try (not always successfully) to avoid the flavor of the month when it comes to books. But I was looking for something to read at the cabin we vacationed in earlier this summer and gave it a go.
It was a pleasant read and you probably know the basics–successful woman ditches her slacker husband, takes up with young actor and then realizes that she’s desperately unhappy. She wants to take a year off to find the real her and she’s going to do it stages–Italy (eat), India (pray) and Bali (love).
The problem with introspective, soul-searching books is that nothing much happens, and that’s the case with this movie.
Julia Roberts, who spent most of the movie dressed in Goodwill rejects, wanders around Rome–home to world’s most fabulously dressed men and women–in a dowdy denim dress, a hat best-suited for an octogenarian golfer and a purse that looks more like a reusable grocery bag:
Rome, which is a city of soft rosy hues, comes across dull and drab, a place without sunshine. The food didn’t even look appetizing.
The India section opens with promise–Julia’s first glimpse of her new country are from the back of the cab taking her to the ashram she will call home for the next three months. The poverty, filth, the hordes of people won’t do anything for Indian tourism. We see lots of shots of Julia meditating and we’re supposed to believe that she is having trouble finding the peace she’s searching for. But then, bang, one day she finds it and so we’re off the Bali.
Bali at least looks lovely from the overhead shots. It’s green and luscious. She spends most of her time at the feet of a toothless little healer. That is, until she takes up with the sexy Brazilian. She ignores the little healer for weeks on end. But of course she goes back to him in the end.
In the end, the book was just easier to relate too. My imagination took me to far more interesting places than the movie.
I was expecting to taste the garlic in Italy. I needed to feel the heat in India. I wanted to hear the waves crashing in Bali. And I got none of that.
I know that lots of people (and when I say people I mean women) love this movie.
I’m just not one of them.