Movie Review: Eat, Pray, Love (2010)

Posted: December 2, 2012 in Drama




Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) is unhappy in her marriage to husband Stephen (Billy Crudup) so she leaves him after 11 years of marriage, even though Stephen doesn’t want the marriage to end.  Liz decides one day to leave the US for a year to “find herself.”  But first she leaps into the arms of David Piccolo (James Franco) an acting student who is following the teachings of a Hindu guru.  Noting that she is much younger than David, Liz decides to leave him and head to Italy.  Where Liz eats a lot, buys baggy jeans, and learns that a wrecked psyche is like an ancient relic, it can adapt and be used for other purposes.  She also befriends Sophie (Tuva Novotny) an American who speaks flawless Italian.  Just when everything seems perfect in Italy, Liz jets off to India, to find David’s guru.

In India, Liz doesn’t find David’s guru, but stays in the ashram to wash the floors.  Liz meets a 17 year old Indian girl named Tulsi (Rudhita Singh), who is forced by her parents to partake in an arranged marriage.  Liz does nothing to stop this marriage, even though she is just recovering from her own disastrous marriage.  Instead Liz meets Richard from Texas, (Richard Jenkins) a recovering alcoholic, and divorcee, who gives Liz relationship advice and then leaves her to fend for herself.  Instead, Liz goes to Bali to talk to her original mentor Ketut (Hadi Subiyanto) and meets Brazilian divorcee named Felipe (Javier Bardem) Liz falls hard for Felipe, but is this love or is Liz just repeating a bad pattern throughout her life?

This is a laughably bad movie.  The idea of someone “finding themselves” at Roberts age is frankly ludicrous.  What lessons does she learn?  Not many it seems.  She goes from a failed marriage, to a relationship with a younger man, who she breaks up with.  She does not stop an arranged marriage, but instead prays for its success even while recalling the horrors of her own failed marriage, and even in Bali, Liz does not feel complete without a man.  What kind of message is that sending?  Not a good one, that’s for sure.  Would a self-actualized woman really keep looking for the love of a man wherever she goes?  The performances are poor, Julia Roberts is sad one minute, happy the next and punctuates each happy moment with that annoying cackle of hers.  Javier Bardem is probably wondering what the heck he is doing in this god forsaken movie.  Of course he’s wondering that in Spanish.  He tried to bring some sanity to the proceedings, but even he was not successful.

Eat, Pray Love.  Pray you never have to see it.



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