Eat, Pray, Love? (It should be called “A lot of eating, not much praying, and you call that love?”)

So, just from the title you can tell exactly what I thought of the Julia Roberts movie I was forced to sit through on Saturday night. I am glad it was just a $1 rental at the Redbox because I would hate to pay more for a movie that just makes me want to scream at the television.

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It’s not that that movie is totally bad – the scenery was incredible and all of the film of great food (and there is lots and lots of great food displayed and consumed in this movie) left me pretty hungry. There are also a lot of quick editing cuts that are sort of cool to watch.

As for the praying, she seems to have no spiritual center at all and that is a part of the problem. She ends up turning to the teachings of a religious guru for advice and when she ends up in India at this guru’s enclave, you see other characters that have ended up in the same place who are just as messed up as she is. I was left wondering how they ended up there and noted that they seem to leave not much better than they were when they arrived! You can also tell that she sees nothing more important than herself up until the very end of the movie and you are still left wondering how the relationship at the end will work out. Obviously, from her second memoir about her marriage, it has it’s ups and downs but they do appear to be sticking it out!

What annoys me is that it seems totally unrealistic but this is supposedly a true story! If it were straight fiction, I think it would be easier to accept but this is based on the memoir of a real person! I wrote earlier this year that it would sure be nice to have the money and ability to leave all of your life and responsibilities behind when you hit a bump in the road. Time and time again, our heroine in mostly self-created distress does very little to not make us think she is totally self-centered. From the beginning (where she seems to wake up one morning and feel totally trapped in her marriage and the only reason ever portrayed seems to be that she has gotten bored) to the end(where she acts like she is doing her new love an incredible favor by letting him sweep her off her quite spoiled rotten feet), it’s watching what her self-centeredness does to the people around her in this movie that is just about cringe-worthy. I think she was just plain fussy and extremely high maintenance but who knows – maybe she has discovered her true inner whatever now and is the perfect picture of spiritual balance.

I did like one quote in the movie which I must assume comes from the book and which seems to be pasted on blogs and Facebook pages all over the place:

“If you're brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.”

It’s really good advice and quite hard to do. It’s part of having to accept that you can’t be all things to all people and if you can see those who drive you nuts as teachers, they you do breakthrough your own ego just a bit and sometimes just a bit is enough to keep your sanity and you may even learn something about yourself in the process. I have not always been good at this and I certainly have my good days and bad days but it is something I continue to work on. Hearing it in this form in this movie was a pleasant surprise and it is one of several shining moments that made sitting through the whole thing worth it.

Comments

  1. It is a typical Hollywood movie based off a book. The book is much better. You see her growth as she realizes that life is not only about her, the relationships that she forges, and the impact that one person can make on so many other's lives.

    I agree, the movie left me very disappointed. They spent so much time in Italy, but very little focusing on the relationship with the single mom and the trials and tribulations of the land purchase. There were so many lessons learned in the book, that they didn't do the book justice in the film. Even as a chick flick, a very bad job was done.

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