Eat Pray Love

In part 2 of my summer movie preview I warned all men who plan to drag their girlfriends or wives to every action of the summer such as “The Expendables” better be ready for a little payback when August rolled around when the wives and girlfriends drag them to see the Julia Roberts “chick flick”, “Eat, Pray, Love”.  Guys we all know the expression of payback being a… well, you know.  In this case, as it turns out, it’s not going to be as bad as you think.  In fact, it’s very possible you may walk out of this movie liking it.

For those who don’t know, “Eat, Pray, Love” is based on the best selling memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Roberts) who spent one year abroad after divorcing her husband, Stephen (Billy Crudup).  Liz travels to Italy, India and Bali on her year long journey of discovery and peace where she eats, prays and loves along the way.  The movie not only is about Liz’s plight, but also how she affects others she comes in contact with

Julia Roberts shines in this movie and if you are not a fan of hers, be warned, because she is in every scene in this movie.  She’s fun to watch and one of the first surprises of the movie is the amount of humor in it.  There are many humorous moments in the movie and no matter what sex you are, you should find yourself laughing quite often.  There are strong dramatic moments as well, and men who see themselves as too “macho” to cry at a movie, better be on guard as there are some moments in the film that may jerk a tear or two from your eyes. 

Director Ryan Murphy, who is best known for directing episodes of TV’s “Glee” and “Nip/Tuck” does pretty well, directing his second feature film.  He does a lot of skillful work with the camera catching shots from low angles to swooping ones using a crane.  He does cheat a little in that while he tries to let the story develop and may not want to rush things along, but he ends up using at least seven montages (by my count) to help show Liz’s progression in her journey.  He got himself a great supporting cast too.  James Franco plays Liz’s first love after her divorce.  He really has started to build quite a resume for himself after leaving the “Spider-Man” franchise.  Richard Jenkins plays a man from Texas Liz meets in India who has a secret of him own.  Julia Roberts gets to pair off with fellow Oscar winner, Javier Bardem who plays Felipe and just may fill out the “Love” portion of Liz’s journey.

This movie will not be loved by all.  Some people may not sympathize too much with a person who is able to pick up and leave their life behind for one full year.  That’s a fair point as some of us cannot afford to pick up and leave our lives for one week.  Someone at the screening I saw said they didn’t like how Liz didn’t come to her own conclusions on how to live her life, but had to learn it from others.  To that person and others who would agree with that I would argue most of us grow as human beings by our interactions with others. 

Today may be Friday the 13th, but it is one lucky day for moviegoers.  “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” opens which should be enjoyed by the teenaged crowd.  “The Expendables” opens for all you guys.  And “Eat, Pray, Love” opens to what will be probably mostly a female audience; however, for any men who find themselves “dragged” to this movie it will NOT be your unlucky day.  It is rated PG-13 for some strong language, sexual references and nudity.  You can find where it is playing locally using the tool below.