I think it has been becoming increasingly evident to the readers of It’s Just Movies that I’m an egotistical pig. This means a couple of things: People hate me, I have problems finding stable relationships, and I’m not in need of the “eat, pray, love” treatment plan. However, Liz Gilbert and I simply do not relate. Being the focus of Ryan Murphy’s new film, “Eat, Pray, Love,” Julia Roberts explores her hedonistic side as the world-weary protagonist who following a fall-out with her husband, has a short and fiery romance with a failed actor, David Piccolo (played by James Franco), which turns out to make her borderline miserable. To salvage her happiness, she dumps him as well and decides to travel the world for a year. In this search for enlightenment, she travels to Italy, India and Bali, and in these places she learns to eat, love and, of course, pray. This adventure means meeting new people and Liz runs into a medicine man, who claims to know the key to her future, a young girl who is forced to partake in an arranged marriage, and a man who turns out to be her true love.
It’s all sappy stuff and it’s expected from Murphy, who is the creator of “Glee,” which I absolutely dread. I mean, the storyline is all fine and dandy and the book from which the film is adapted is supposedly good, so where does it go wrong? Execution – the film is riddled with clichés, horrible acting and more hedonism than a Kanye West album. It’s no wonder that “Eat, Pray, Love” fails to entertain anyone other than middle-aged women who enjoy watching Roberts and the cast eat food, drink wine, and complain about pant sizes. But just a quick note to all the ladies out there, please don’t make your significant other watch this … please … even if he forgets to take out the trash – I mean that’s perfectly forgivable right?
I find Julia Roberts a supporting actress. There is not a leading role of hers that I enjoy. She lacks any sort of charisma and when she tries to be charismatic, it comes off as forced and fake. That being said, I found Liz to be absolutely loathsome. I couldn’t care less about her struggles or her successes. During my screening, I just felt like I was watching a privileged woman complain for no reason whatsoever and I just don’t find her eating spaghetti all that entertaining — even if she does need to eat as she looks like a skeleton.
But being a film about travel does have its upsides and some of the shots are incredible. The culture that is presented is also interesting and it’s commendable how each act has a unique feel, which is due to the abundance of religious, dietary, and fashion differences between the lands. But nothing can save the film from being horrid.
“Eat, Pray, Love” certainly lives up to its title. During the time that I watched it, I munched on popcorn from boredom, I prayed for the film to magically become watchable, and I absolutely loved the ending credits and my walk out of the theater. However, I couldn’t shake the decline in masculinity for some time after my screening, which is why I advise all men to stay away.
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