Saturday, January 8, 2011

Eat Pray Love (2006)

Well, done with #1.

In quick summary, Eat Pray Love is the travelogue memoir of an American woman who in her mid-30s decides it's time to face her emotional baggage. Having gone from one man to the next, and from her husband to a failed relationship, Liz Gilbert takes a year of travel and learns how to live alone. In Italy, she recovers health and overcomes depression; in India, she quiets her mind and let's go of control; and finally in Indonesia, she returns to society a stronger and more balanced person.

Highly readable and humorous in parts, this book has been a huge success, translated into more than 30 languages and made into a big screen movie with Julia Roberts. Perhaps learning to live alone is an unrecognized rite of passage for single women in America and abroad. But, as many have complained, and I tend to agree, Gilbert's account comes across selfish and annoying. I never really cared about her journey, even while reading her story, in spite of my having learned to live alone in my 30s as well. I am sure others out there feel differently and would love to hear another perspective. What did you think about Eat Pray Love, the book? And if you read the book and then saw the movie, what did you think about the film interpretation?

Click on the link to find out more about this book.


Hariklia said...

I read the book a little while ago and enjoyed the Italy (eat) part, kinda liked the 'pray' part, but didn't get into the 'love' part. She didn't really grab me as a character (despite being a 'real' person).
I saw the film on the plane coming back from Greece recently, so not the ideal cinema experience! and thought it was OK. Not bad, not great. I think they might have been better off getting a less familiar face to play the part: Much as I like her, Julia Roberts is always Julia Roberts simply because she's so well known.

Leslie in Adams Morgan said...

I agree completely. Julia Roberts is always Julia Roberts.

I was ambivalent about the book but disappointed in the movie. I feel like it glossed over Liz's search for self and gave way too much emphasis on her relationships.

At the end of the book, Liz found herself, or least some center balance (although I suspect she is one of those people who is always working on herself and thereby remaining the center of her universe).

At the end of the movie, she'd found her man. It was a relationship movie more than an inner search for self story.

The one line in the movie I liked that didn't translate directly from the book is that sometimes you have to find your balance and then give it up in order to live a more balanced life. I agree with this. When we find our single girl balance, we then have to give some of it up in order to live a more balanced life within a relationship. Ultimately, it's healthier to live with other people.