Rental Review: Eat Pray Love

As the blizzard in Boston continues, so does my movie marathon! Next up: "Eat Pray Love."

A few years ago when I lived in Inman Square in Cambridge, one of my of roommates was reading Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir "Eat Pray Love." She told me she was having trouble getting through the book because she found the author sickeningly self indulgent. That's not exactly a rave review. After hearing her feedback, I decided to skip the book.

When I learned the memoir would be turned into a feature film starring Julia Roberts, that piqued my interest. I have always been a huge Julia Roberts fan and the content of the memoir seemed perfect fodder for a movie.

The movie begins with Elizabeth's life in New York City, married to her first husband, Stephen, played by Billy Crudup (holy handsome). The scene where Elizabeth and Stephen meet to finalize their divorce broke my heart. Didn't you want to leap across the table and hug Stephen?

Post-divorce Elizabeth moves onto a new man, David, played by one of my all time favorites, James Franco. Yummy.

David is the lead in a play which Elizabeth wrote called "Permeable Membrane." Did anyone else notice that the script describes the lead character as "always changing to become like the man she is with," which was exactly the problem Julia Roberts' character faced in the movie "Runaway Bride"? Just thought that was interesting.

Elizabeth's relationship with David quickly spirals downward and ultimately leads to her decision to travel abroad.

On the first leg of her trip, Elizabeth sets up shop in Italy. I absolutely loved her elderly landlord! How funny was their first conversation? I also adored the group of friends she made in Italy and their genuine affection for one another. It didn't hurt that her Italian tutor was very easy on the eyes. During that segment I was also devoured every image of the food she allowed herself including fresh pasta, homemade pizza and fresh olive oil. Yes please!

The middle chunk of the story, Elizabeth's time in India, was my least favorite. Though I appreciated her relationship with the young Indian bride, the rest of the journey seemed a bit, stalled.

My favorite part of the movie was the final third, Elizabeth's time in Bali. I have never been to that part of the world and I am now convinced that I must see it in my lifetime. How crazy beautiful is that island? Wow.

The relationship between Elizabeth and her spiritual healer, Ketut, was adorable, as was her bond with the Wayan, the village doctor.

I died laughing in the scene where Elizabeth goes to the beach party and the young, Australian man tries to convince her to go skinny dipping.

Of course, the highlight of the whole film is Elizabeth's relationship with Felipe, who awakens her heart at last. Though I have never been attracted to Javier Bardem, he was great in this role. It was a treat to watch their honest, flawed relationship.

This movie was executive produced by Brad Pitt and adapted for screen and directed by Ryan Murphy, the creator of Nip/Tuck and Glee. Is there anything Ryan Murphy can't do?

I did not read the book, so I can't say if the movie is better (rarely is), but I truly enjoyed it. Now off to research flights to Bali!


Molly Galler

Welcome to Pop.Bop.Shop. My name is Molly. I’m a foodie, fashionista, pop culture addict and serious travel junkie. I’m a lifelong Bostonian obsessed with frozen confections, outdoor patios, Mindy Kaling, reality television, awards shows, tropical vacations, snail mail and my birthday.

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