Friday, August 20, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love -- The Movie Review

Last weekend, while Annzy was here, we snagged Sam and sent to a matinee of Eat, Pray, Love, the chick flick of choice for August. I had seen a few minutes of the Oprah show featuring the cast of the movie and it was a total love fest. Perhaps that got my expectations up a little too much. I was expecting something a bit more universally important and perhaps even more profound. Julia Roberts talked about several soul-stirring moments filming the movie. I expected something!

The good: The movie is visually lovely. The scenes in NY, Italy, India, and Bali are all beautiful. I enjoyed everything about the views in this movie. I also thought I liked the premise of a travel writer traveling a little more for herself and going on a journey of self-discovery. And of course, I love Julia Roberts and enjoyed her performance. Overall, the movie is like a Summer novel. It's great to enjoy while on vacation, but really won't stay with you.

The bad: I found the main character to be a little too narcissistic for my taste. I realize this is a journey of self-discovery, which by definition requires a certain level of navel-gazing, but it really was a bit much for me. I was looking for more Aha! moments for myself and found that particularly lacking in this movie.

The main character decides to enjoy a Neapolitan pizza while in Naples. I know very few people crazy enough NOT to do that. The real discovery for the main character in Italy is that she can be a whole, real person all by herself. I realize that this is an issue for some folks and I'm glad she figured it out, but it's not an issue I deal with.

In India, while living in a guru's ashram, the main character's goal is to learn to forgive herself. Although I think this is a very important concept that all of us have to learn, we don't get enough of the inner struggle to really understand that part of the journey.

In Bali, our main character decides that she can love someone without totally losing herself. It has to be conscious though. Again, we know that she has the struggle, but we don't get enough of the inner thought and learning to be able to learn and grow with her.

The ugly: The only ugly in this movie is the very strange side view of Javier Bardem's face. He's a fairly attractive guy, but there's something just a bit off about his face.

The verdict: The movie is lovely and skims over the surface a real issues that lie deep in the ugly parts of our psyches. If you want to while away a hot Summer afternoon in a cool movie theater, this movie is the perfect pick. If you're looking for any depth, then keep looking.

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