While it is similarly sentimental and sensitive to many romantic comedies such as Sex and the City (2008), or The Holiday (2006), Eat Pray Love can be considered more than just another sappy, idealistic chick flick. It is a story that teaches us that it is okay to eat pizza, that finding faith is sometimes as easy as taking a deep breath, and perhaps most importantly, that loving ourselves is the key to finding love in other places or people.
The film was written and directed by Ryan Murphy, who is known for producing and writing for hit series Glee and Nip/Tuck. This story follows writer Liz Gilbert (played by the renowned Julia Roberts). After years of a seemingly picture perfect life, Gilbert finds herself at a tormenting crossroads between the life she has created for herself and discovering what it really means to live.
After a tearful prayer, Gilbert finally makes the painful decision to divorce her husband. It’s not until after a troubling rebound relationship, however, that she finally turns to extreme measures. Gilbert, feeling like a depraved shell of a person, sets off on a one-year sabbatical from her life and all of its comforts in hopes of finding her true self.
Her first stop is Rome, Italy, where she finds joy and happiness in new friends, and of course, food. In addition to embracing every sweet calorie for what it is, her newfound Italian friends teach her the importance of “dolce far niente,” or “the joy of doing nothing.”
Her next stop, India, is where she immerses herself in spiritual mediation and growth while learning to forgive herself for things beyond her control. Finally, she ends her journey in Bali, where she learns to bring balance to her life, and in that balance, true love has its place.
It’s hard to imagine that three verbs can justly encompass all the joy, heartache, and cuisine exemplified in the film, because it cannot be done. Eat Pray Love is an uplifting story that runs parallel to the unsettling lives lived by thousands of people everyday. Liz Gilbert is fantastically vulnerable and relatable, which is all the more reason I wanted out of my theater seat and onto a plane to wherever. This story could be an inspiration and motivation to anyone with even an inkling of adventure waiting to burst through.
The film was wonderfully done, with landscapes to fawn over, but some of them did not truly get the amount of time I feel they deserved. I wanted to see more India, more Bali. However, the movie ran long as it was, so the abbreviated time frames could be attributed to time constraints.
This movie is best suited for adults and older teenagers. If that’s you, and you are looking to feel uplifted, go see Eat Pray Love. This movie is also great for anyone needing an extra push towards adventure. And, for those of you looking for a little love story as well, this is a movie to see.
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