I’ve seen Eat, Pray, Love more times than anyone with a penis should admit.
I like the eating, I’ll admit that. I like the first scene in India, where whoever the director is rips off Danny Boyle’s work from Slumdog Millionaire. Fast-paced music, and even faster transitions. I even like the actual love story. It’s really okay.
But, there are too many things I hate.
Normally, I think it’s unfair to blast the writer (of a screenplay, or of a novel), but because the writer of the novel is actually the main character in this case, I think it would be inaccurate and unprofessional to not judge her work.
You see, while it may not seem this way, Liz Gilbert is a very, very good writer. Her GQ piece, Lucky Jim, should be in the Hall of Fame, if one exists for self-deprecating, depress ex-wives. This book, though – this movie, rather – is not Lucky Jim.
Eat, Pray, Love is another practice in the continual Oprah-sized grab for attention and desperation that has plagued too many female writers over the past however many years. It’s not unlike what Spike TV did to the perception of men, so that’s not intended to be a sexual barb.
Each sex has its faults and, in Eat, Pray, Love, they both do. The whole thing is littered with an unfaithful wife (honestly, if you were this flighty, then why did you get married?) and her tale of woe with an ex-husband and a young dude (James Franco) who bedded her for a little while.
Then, it tells you to feel bad for her. Cry for her. Play from Florence and the Machine and fall asleep.
How about the scene where the Italians ask everyone the one word that aptly describes their city, and London is stuffy and Stockholm is conformity and Rome – ever-cool Rome – is sex. Yes, conformity is evil. But, getting paid millions in an advance to travel to Europe and take up yoga and believe some B.S. philosophy about how karma controls the world? No, that’s amazing, apparently.
(If only every college kid at NYU wasn’t dreaming of the same thing.)
And, on top of it all, we have Julia Roberts playing the title character. Because, of course, nobody understands the plight of the modern woman more than society’s highest paid actress.
Listen, Liz. You’re a great writer. This book would have been fantastic, but you have to be honest about it. Don’t play it off as some kind of existential exercise of your own faith and independence. Don’t wave the white flag and expect us to stop firing the cannons.
Don’t tell us this is some higher search for female supremacy. Not when it’s for profit.
There’s a sequel. It’s called Committed. Let me know when it comes out, and I’ll just put my finger down my throat instead.
White Cover Staff
White Cover Magazine is the "foremost" source for "male" and "female" things in the world today. Kind of. We have Sports. Movies. Arts. (What are Arts?) Television. Music. And, of course, a critical look at everything in the world of Journalism, Sports Journalism, and News at large.
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