Although Eat Pray Love promises a heartwarming journey, it unfortunately does not reach deep enough.
‘Eat Pray Love’ is transcribed from the memoirs of Elizabeth Gilbert. It is Liz’s three-part search for an “enriched” self. The first leg of her journey takes place in Italy, where she learns the value of living without a roadmap to life. The second part of her journey takes place in India, where she has to challenge everything from within. And the last stage of her journey, in Bali, forces her to practice these principles indistinct of one another.
Ryan Murphy does an excellent job integrating Liz’s, played by Julia Roberts, old life into the search for her new life. The transitions of the film and Liz’s life are what make an impression. They may either remind you of a place you have been or help you envision a place you might want to be. The art and cinematography of the film transport you to an authentic and very distinct memory, however the screenplay and film do not complete the emotional journey.
Eat Pray Love was much more than a novel or biography, for the people who have read the book, it is an emotional experience – unfortunately the film does not make the cut. What makes this impossible journey so possible are the words and life of the heart, but the screenwriting alters and hangs on too many words and clichés that in turn do not move the audience.
Gilbert’s journey requires a patience, lost in translation to film. In fact the film feels lengthy at moments instead of carefully drawn out or experienced. Julia Roberts brings a placid Liz to screen, who only becomes animated in light of her supporting cast and not the narration. Javier Bardem, much like his character, breathes life into the final leg of the film. It is in Bali that the pieces of the film fall into place, but it still does not leave the same mark the novel has.
Eat Pray Love leaves an impression but doesn’t make an impact. The emotional levels of the novel do not become the art of this film and there it loses it’s heart.
Rated: PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexual references.
Release Date: 2010-08-13
Screenplay: Ryan Murphy, Elizabeth Gilbert (memoir)
Official Website: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/eatpraylove/