Eat Pray Love (Ryan Murphy, 2010)
Adapted from the best-seller written by Elizabeth Gilbert, this feel-good movie is exactly the kind of film that gives the crave to go on a trip with only the bare necessities and live like the residents of the country you are visiting. It also gives you a crave for food and terrific landscapes.
Eat Pray Love depicts the story of Liz (Julia Roberts) a young married woman, probably in her thirties, struggling with her marital status, feeling trapped in a meaningless existence as a writer and not fulfilling her life as she may have wanted. She wants to escape everything, her marriage, her house, her life. Liz decides that it is enough after quitting her husband and divorcing him she encounters a young actor (James Franco) with whom she gets initiated with meditation. But still, this relationship won’t be enough for her and she follows her instinct and goes on a trip with three distinct destinations in mind and in an order: Italy to eat, India to pray, and Bali to, well you guessed, but you’ll understand thorough the film it is not that simple.
Having not read the novel, this review is simply based on the motion picture and the value of it. Definitely, structured like a novel, Eat Pray Love doesn’t push the story too fast or too Hollywoodian on us. The rhythm of the story flows well and nothing is thrown in your face or took from a magicians hat and surprise us with an expected twist. This is one of the most interesting facet of this low-key drama/comedy. It also delivers well in the basic duty of entertainment/Cinema to take us from our common lives, current issues and take us on an escape trip or an evasion into a story or a country that isn’t related to our personal issues and problems. The effective and quite capable cinematography of Robert Richardson (most notably known for his work with Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone and Quentin Tarantino) captures the essence of each part of the world visited without falling into the cliché of the American perception of Italy or India.
One of the downside of this movie is the presence of Julia Roberts who can’t make us forget that she is Julia Roberts. Her performance is not bad but as usual average. She seems to have not changed since Pretty Woman in the 1980’s, no aging or whatsoever and the same kind of performance. A belle that plays on the same notes for a long time.
This review may seem a little out there since this blog is mostly dedicated to Classic film, directors, foreign and indie movies. However, it is always interesting to catch-up on movies that bring another light in cinephilia. And overall, Eat Pray Love makes you want to escape your routine life of 9 to 5 and experience how people live and think in the other parts of the world.