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August 13th, 2010
Despite the poor grammar in the film’s title, Eat Pray Love is a well-written, funny and inspirational film based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best selling memoir. An all around star studded production starring Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, James Franco, and Billy Crudup, directed by Glee’s Ryan Murphy and produced by Brad Pitt, the film has the sturdy set of legs necessary to bring the beloved book to life.
Julia Roberts plays Liz (EPL author Elizabeth Gilbert), a writer who has come to the realization that after eight years together her marriage to Steven (Crudup) has fallen apart. Upon her divorce Liz moves in with David, a much younger and unsuccessful actor played brilliantly by Franco. When this relationship too ends, Liz embarks upon a personal journey that takes her to Italy, India and finally Bali where she meets and finds love with Felipe, played with effortless charm and emotion by Bardem.
Although the movie clocks in at just under two and a half hours, there seems to be an insufficient amount of time to develop relationships on screen that continue throughout the film. The demise of Liz’s relationship with both Steven and David are recurring subject matters throughout the film, though the reasons behind the break-ups are never fully understood, especially in the case of David.
The film’s supporting cast, especially Richard Jenkins and Viola Davis, bring a depth to the film that is slightly missed with Roberts. The scenery of all four backdrops (New York City, Italy, India and Bali) create a mood and atmosphere that allows the audience to be swept up in the excitement of Liz’s journey.
While many moments are funny, inspiring and beautifully acted, we never really understand who Liz is and why her emotional journey is so important. I think this is the result of a attempting to squeeze a 350 page memoir into a two hour film, along with the underdevelopment of the film’s main characters.
Rating: 3.5 pieces of luggage out of 5Tweet