“Eat Pray Love”
Dan Culberson | Aug 23, 2010
Eat Pray Love is based on the successful memoir of the same name published in 2006 by Elizabeth Gilbert, except that the commas have been taken out of the book’s title.
Julia Roberts plays Liz in the story that describes her year off to travel the world after a messy divorce, and the title gives away what her
activities are in the three places she visits: Italy, India, and Indonesia, specifically the island of Bali.
Liz is a successful travel writer, and she had been to Bali before while writing an article, which we see at the beginning of the movie, along with her encounter with Ketut, a ninth-generation medicine man who tells Liz’s fortune by reading her palm.
Ketut tells her, “You will lose all your money.”
Then Liz is back home in New York City, and we see her unhappy marriage to Stephen, who has recently changed jobs and is now thinking about going back to school.
In a scene in which she prays to God, Liz says, “I’m in serious trouble. I don’t know what to do. Please tell me what to do.”
One could argue then that the rest of the movie is one long piece of advice about what to do and what not to do.
Liz becomes involved with a young actor named David, played by James Franco, whom she describes as a yogi from Yonkers and who looks a lot like Stephen.
Liz makes a break for it, and she is off to Italy, where she indulges in food and learns the Italian sweetness of doing nothing. Naturally, there are many closeups of food and of eating food.
After four months, Liz goes to India, where she joins an ashram and meets Richard from Texas, played by Richard Jenkins and whose every speech is nothing but advice, except for one long speech of maudlin overacting.
Then it is on to Bali, where Liz reconnects with Ketut the medicine man, and, sure enough, Liz meets a Brazilian played by Javier Bardem. To her credit, Liz tries to resist his advances, but if you know the story of the real Liz Gilbert, you already know the ending.
Eat Pray Love can be boiled down to just a one-word title: INDULGE, but at least for many, two words should be added: Ignore and forget.
I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”
“Hotshots” is a weekly movie review by Dan Culberson available on KGNU Community Radio (88.5 FM in Boulder and 1390 AM in Denver, on Filmchannel1, and on Boulder Reporter. Culberson has been reviewing films since 1972 for newspapers, magazines, radio and television.