Dec 28, 2010

Eat Pray Love

So, it begins again, another great gift of 24 mystery movies for me to talk about on this blog. And we start this gift package off with none other than Eat Pray Love. Sigh. My heart is a little sad having to talk about this movie. It’s all so complicated for me. The book, I read (as I think most women do and why we love it so fiercely) during a huge identity crisis time in my life and troubles in my marriage. It helped me in countless ways, mainly because here was a woman I completely identified with who was getting not only the luxury of wallowing in her emotional needs, getting to rediscover herself, rediscover her passion, but also do it in a way I can’t even fathom how I’d ever afford to: in 3 countries for a year. So she gets to live the life I want but I get to read the book and end with a calmer awareness of myself. And I love this book! I recommend it to every woman I know who is going through that crisis (which typically seems to be in the 30s). Now, when I heard the movie was going to be made, I thought: How? How can you show this in film? And then I heard Julia Roberts was attached to it and I sighed and said, ah you are not making this book into a movie, you are making a romantic movie that Julia can be in and your going to vaguely hit on points from the book. As they did.
Now lets talk about the heartbreak… I used to love Julia Roberts (I love all her rom coms- they make me smile down to my liver). But this past year (which has been a very hard struggle for me and it is my sincere hope that next year I get a little of my sparkle, hope and joy back, among other hopes of.. you know success and money and such), while working as the-lowest-of-low-on-the-totem-pole-of-films: an extra, I had many opportunities to sit around with fellow dirt-levels and we would talk about the stars we’ve been around. These conversations inevitably led to who was a jerk to work with(Walberg) and who was surprisingly sweet (Gandolfini). And time and again, I heard horror stories about what a bitch, what a diva, what a nightmare Julia Roberts was. I didn’t want to believe it, America’s Sweetheart? Surely she is nice, that’s how I can believe she is in all those movies. But no, I heard a story about how she so diminished a young actress playing a stewardess who messed up one line that the girl up and quit acting, it ruined her to be so humiliated by the wrath of Roberts on the set. Well, I must admit, this has affected my ability to watch her. I just have so little room in my heart for those who look down on others, those who can be so cruel.
So I went in to seeing Eat Pray love with those 2 very large marks against it: my once idol was a bitch and they aren’t going to be able to really make this book into a movie. And so this movie, which I should have wanted to love, I only walk away with a meh. Julia seemed cold to me. She has lines in the movie (because the character in the book is actually this way) that she says she’s a Suzy Cream Cheese, a happy talkative person and I don’t believe that for a moment from Julia. I don’t really see the complicated journey to loving herself and loving the whole world too in her. And she also talks about her “muffin top” and has an entire scene where they try and close jeans on her and um… seriously she has NEVER had a muffin top! Arg! So with all that said, lets check Eat Pray Love off of my list, shall we?
• Giddy: Well there are moments when they quote the book like: You select your thoughts like you select your clothes in the morning, and Look through your heart and not your head but the parts that usually get me giddy (the love scenes) don’t really do it for me here.
• Lie: This is a book/movie about facing your truth. So no.
• Big Emotional Outburst: We have a typical Roberts blow up scene on the beach of Bali. And of course there is the one at the very beginning of the movie… the one that scares the shit out of me quite frankly. The scene where she goes to pray about her unhappiness and decides she doesn’t want to be married anymore. I think I’m more re-living my own fears and bad moments then empathizing with Julia here though (but unlike Julia’s character, I came out of that situation realizing it was better to work on the love I have than throw it away and start over- but I still tear up every time I hear that line: The only thing more impossible than staying was leaving). Also… my god can we please praise once again an amazing performance from Richard Jenkins- his scene where he describes why he is at this ashram in India is heart wrenching!
• Wedding: Why yes there are 2! An Indian wedding (so beautiful despite the fact that its so sad) and flash backs of her own.
• Dance Sequence: In the flash backs of her own there is a lovely scene where Billy Crudup (another supposed jerk in real life) dances around Julia
• Rewatchable: I have to admit, this movie does the opposite for me of what is its intentions: to lift you up so… well yes when I’m feeling doomed (which is often lately).
• Love: This is supposed to be as I said before the learning to love yourself and then love others, but I had a hard time buying it from Julia. There is also the love with Javier Bardem, which is sweet and that perfect rom-com hate em first then love him. Honestly I must give the film credit here, I thought they’d skip right over Italy and India and focus mostly on the Javier affair but they did a good job of keeping them all balanced and showing us that love is not in one form – it is not just romantic but the love of friends, of strangers, of places and passions.
• Fantasy: A writer takes a year off of life and travels to 3 exotic places to discover herself. It’s my number 1 fantasy!
• Journey of the Main Character: Read the book, her journey is amazing!
• Body Count: none
• Music Montages/Soundtrack: Its got some good songs
• Strong Female: Again… read the book.

Side note: It's driving me bonkers that I can't lay out this blog by title and that it only lays it out by date. If anyone knows how to change it so I can lay this blog out by title instead of date can you email me at ? Love to you all!