Eat Pray Love (2010) Julia Roberts, Richard Jenkins Directed by Ryan Murphy
It is hard for me to quantify this film as a man. I can tell you watching this from a man’s point of view and from a woman’s will be a very different experience…and not all films are like that. This film whether you want it to or not, is a journey your going on, so be prepared to examine your own life because you will, first while watching this film and frankly again after its over (I came down from this film with a bottle of wine and some In & Out because I was too lazy to make pasta). The film is based on the Elizabeth Gilbert memoir which I did not read, but know the basics. Julia Roberts stars as Liz in a wonderfully empowering female role (you don’t see many films that put a woman out there as this film does) and she is brilliant in it. If I have beef with the film it is that it is not as honest as the book was (I had questions about the character and went home to get those answered by double checking the book, and the film lacks clarity I assume to protect Liz’s likabilty…which even with those emissions it does not, I often found myself not liking or believing her character, but that was why it felt so real…people are like that), but I understand to a degree why that was done…though you will probably sense as I did that the whole story isn’t always being told (art imitates life in this one very well). It is a really powerful film that is hard to watch if you have things in your own life that when you reflect on them, they make you emotional…which let’s be honest is us all.
Eat Pray Love Is the story of Liz Gilbert (Oscar worthy performance by Julia Roberts) a writer who has a divorce, and then a failed relationship hit her hard, so she follows the advice of an old medicine man Ketut (played adorably by Hadi Subiyanto) and goes on a year long journey to Rome (where she Eats), India (where she prays), and finally Bali (where she returns to Ketut and ultimately loves). The locations of this film are flat gorgeous, and the food and wine shots make you want to go to dinner when it’s over. The film itself is excellent, for me it isn’t carried by Julia and her character Liz, it is carried by those people she meets on they way…all men…and all so important to the journey. The standout performance in the film belongs to the excellent Richard Jenkins who plays an ex-alcoholic who has lost his family and is searching for forgiveness of himself in
(The Shawshank Scale 1-10) “Sometimes losing balance for love is part of living a balanced life” It is quotes like that which make this film memorable, I’m not sure about it’s rewatchability (depends how much wine I have in me and if I want to reexamine my life choices) but I know a powerful film when I see one…a Best Picture worthy 7.5 on the scale.
Food For Thought: After the film I enjoyed a bottle of Trader Joe’s Petite Reserve Pinot Noir which was very good, and if I had it my way I would have gone with Tomatoes and asparagus covered with fresh mozeralla and olive oil…but I went In & Out instead. Next up for Queen Julia Roberts is a film called Larry Crowne co starring Tom Hanks.