© Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH

Eat Pray Love
U.S.A. 2010

Opening 23 Sep 2010

Directed by: Ryan Murphy
Writing credits: Ryan Murphy, Jennifer Salt, Elizabeth Gilbert
Principal actors: Julia Roberts, Billy Crudup, Viola Davis, James Franco, Javier Bardem

Many of you will have read the popular book Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, as it spent 150 weeks on the New York Times best seller list. As many best sellers, this tale was turned in to a movie with the main character being played by Julia Roberts. The story covers a part of Gilbert’s life, as she leaves a failing marriage (Billy Crudup) and love affair with a younger man (James Franco) to spend a year living in Italy, India and Bali seeking to find out who she was and what she was lacking in her life. She funds her trip including airfare and accommodations, gurus, wardrobe, ashram and food on her advance to write this book. The journey covers Gilbert living abroad where she ignores weight gain and body issues as she eats her way through Italy – trying to find happiness and fulfillment in personal friendships and food. From there she heads to India where she visits a Yoga Ashram in search of inner peace and balance but ends up meeting meets up with an older Texan man played by Richard Jenkins. Jenkins challenges Gilbert to forgive herself for some of her past mistakes and failed marriage. Gilbert then goes on to Bali where she meets a local beloved advisor, a natural healer and a lover (Javier Bardem) healing from his own pain of a failed marriage. If you were able to get through the first two tragic chapters in the book discussing her divorce to finish the book, then you will find this book turned movie is fairly true to the book, but the characters other than Jenkins do not seem to come alive and therefore you lack a connection with them. The many fans of Gilbert’s books will like the movie but will not be overwhelmed, but it is difficult to make a book come alive.

I wanted to be more drawn in to the story making the book come alive in film. (Brenda Anderson-Rivera)

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