Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love (unconditionally)

It's uncommon for me to love a movie these days, but on the rare occasion that it happens, it usually goes something like this: the trailer or an interesting article about it appeals to me, I'll see the movie in the theater, and then, I love it - surprise! Bright Star is a good example. I even had a ticket for another movie in my hand when I stumbled into that one - so it was completely unexpected. Then, there is Eat, Pray, Love. In that case, the order is reversed and some items removed. I love it, no questions asked, even before I buy my ticket online or see the trailer. I see it, smile plastered on my face, and with teary eyes. The film ends, the lights go on, I drive home and feel - oh, I don't know - meh.

Why so quick to offer up your heart only to be let down? you might ask.

This unconditional love can be easily attributed to the following: my love and gratitude for Elizabeth Gilbert's book and my new-found appreciation of Julia Roberts. Also, I wasn't really let down nor did I "let go" as the marketing campaign asked me to. No matter how much I love it, I won't do so blindly - if that makes any sense. I only had hoped for more of a spiritual awakening in our leading lady. She has a guru, she unrolls a dusty yoga mat, she goes to an ashram, she sits in full lotus - but I didn't really see the transformation. To the credit of everyone involved, I can imagine it was quite a challenge to depict depression, acceptance, and healing on screen the way it's so eloquently arranged in words on the page. After much careful consideration (and numerous drafts of this blog), I realized something: there's no need and it is quite unrealistic for the movie to soothe me the way that the book did. Cinema. Literature. Different.

Don't get me wrong - I loved Eat, Pray, Love. I love J. Rob in her cozy-New Mexico-mama phase. I love the costumes, the locations, the music. More importantly, though, I love a Hollywood movie that shows a woman on a spiritual journey, rather than on a quest for a husband. In that way the movie is poignant, and better than most of the stuff out there. There will be a second viewing, probably a third and, hey, it was definitely worthy of a blog post (the stills from the film are beautiful and inspirational in their calm serenity). I just didn't think my post-movie blog-post would start with my bringing up Bright Star. I guess bright love just shines above the rest.


  1. I also enjoyed the film very much. It did remind me that Elizabeth Gilbert was lucky enough to travel on her spiritual quest (something the book didn't make me as aware of as the film did) whereas, most people have to get it in their own surroundings.Through time and understandings I think most of us get there. Nice seeing Julia learning to appreciate all that was going on around her. I think we tend to not do that in familiar surroundings.

  2. "Cinema. Literature. Different." -- so true!! long live books!

  3. ok, in defense of this movie, comparing Julia Roberts and EAT, PRAY, LOVE to Abbie Cornish and BRIGHT STAR is so not fair! Also, while I have hopes for Ryan Murphy, he is no Jane Campion!

    I'll see the film eventually. I rather enjoyed the book, and it was just the thing for me at the time I read it. Also, the copy of EPL that I have was given to me by a friend from NY who included a note, "I read this on vacation - you might still be able to smell the suntan lotion!"

  4. I love your thoughts on the movie! I have to agree with you, the book impacted me in a deeper way than the movie (isn't that often the case?), but the movie was dreamy and had such great eye candy.

  5. I hadn't planned on reading the book or seeing the film, but now, after reading this post, I probably will do both.

    You poet you.

    I love what you said about August & peaches on my blog, too.