Eat Pray Love Envy

By Karen

Critics are mercilessly trashing Eat Pray Love exactly as they did Sex and the City 2 — calling it shallow and self-absorbed. WHAT is their problem with movies about women?

Unlike many reviewers, I read the book before seeing the movie and I liked both a lot. Who wouldn’t want to spend a year disconnected from their daily ruts and problems, exploring strange and beautiful places and meeting interesting people?

In the book, I couldn’t relate to author Elizabeth Gilbert’s marital problems, but she hooked me when she decided to find her true self through travel. I spent about 15 years doing the same thing, but in a very different way. (My memoir, Counting Nights, is in the works. Stay tuned…).

As Liz, Julia Roberts was perfect. Much of the plot is cerebral, and Julia did a wonderful job with those many quiet moments. Her eyes speak volumes.

Liz’s first stop was Italy. After No Reservations, it was my second trip to Rome this week. But Liz’s Rome was in full color and her adventures in eating consisted of spaghetti, pizza (in Naples), and gelato. I loved watching her do what I’ve always wanted to do, but in Paris.

Next, India. If not for Richard the tortured Texan at the ashram, I would have slept through this part, but that’s me and India (explained in my book). And I don’t believe endless chanting brings you any closer to God than handling snakes.

But then Liz goes to beautiful, quirky Bali and meets her future husband, a sexy, gorgeous Brazilian named Felipe.

My memory of the book is vague enough that I wasn’t bothered, or even noticed, if the movie mangled some parts, but Felipe (played by Javier Bardem) was nothing like I remember him.

In the book, Liz and Felipe were like the May-December romance of Nellie Forbush and Emile de Becque in South Pacific. In the movie, they’re more physically matched, but they still have Bali Ha’i.

I left the theater feeling strangely hopeful that my Felipe is still out there somewhere, waiting for me to find him. And I had spaghetti for dinner.

PS: The New York Times review got it right.

8 Responses to Eat Pray Love Envy

  1. Zappa says:

    Karen.I can’t wait for your book!! I loved EPL(the book) but I am dragging my feet a bit because I’m not a Julia Roberts fan.But,it is time in the dark with Javier Bardem.I am going to make some Spaghetti Carbonara then walk to one of my neighborhood gelateria. One of the commercials that I saw for the movie showed her struggling to zip her jeans after several weeks in Italy.Amateur! Give me one weekend!

    Zappa’s mom

  2. catsworking says:

    Thanks, Zappa’s mom. My book is very much in first draft stage because I have been very undisciplined about it, working on it in fits and starts, but it’s slowly taking shape. And I’m not getting any younger, so I’d better get cracking or else.

    I think Julia Roberts did a great job with a difficult character. The filming is beautiful. And, as you mentioned, Bardem. Oh. My. God. Who could resist him?

    If you’ve read the book, SEE the movie. It’s worth it.

  3. Tuxi says:

    Karen, I think you hit the nail on the proverbial head, *much of the plot is cerebral*. Now, I don’t know much about the critics who panned the movie, but if they are anything like John Q. Public, the general electorate and the state of American intelligence, I.Q., not C.I.A., then the film is getting a poop rating unfairly. I say *poop* since the American attention span-HUMAN, not feline, is more attuned to American Idol, Lady Gaga and whatever piece of underwear she isn’t wearing and who is rolling who in the hay. If you humans had to hunt for each meal like my feral brethren, you wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic! Cats only obsess over the important stuff and prefer to be cerebral! Humans should strive to be like us!

  4. catsworking says:

    Thank you, Tuxi. I liked the movie so much that I considered seeing it again yesterday, but ended up taking a nap instead.

    If the film didn’t star Julia Roberts, it would have passed through Richmond in one weekend in one of the quirky cinemas where they confine many literate (The Ghost Writer) or foreign flicks (Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky) and anything by Woody Allen. Our prevalent Regal chain likes to reserve its screens for movies full of car chases and poop jokes for the masses.

    I was just reading another review (I think in Time) that said the same thing about the India section bogging down with chanting and meditation. I also just read in The Week that Julia Roberts herself is now a Hindu. She was raised Catholic and Baptist.

    I agree with you that cats have a much more highly-developed sense of subtlety.

  5. Zappa says:

    I am a practicing Buddhist.I meditate,chant,and revere all life forms,especially bugs.


  6. catsworking says:

    Zappa, the cats have never told me that they are Buddhist, but they do seem to follow many of its practices, just as you do. I think it may be the default feline faith.

  7. MorganLF says:

    A Memoir is it?

    Well I have been toying with my own for a while so far I have a title: ” Men are dogs with hats on”.

  8. catsworking says:

    Morgan, I like it!

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