Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love -- the movie


We went to see the movie Eat, Pray, Love last night. Although it was a little long, it wasn't as hideous as some would make it out to be (see http://www.suburbankamikaze.com/suburban_kamikaze/2010/08/our-pursuit-of-unshaven-men-takes-a-harrowing-turn.html).
First, if you didn't like the book, and I have some friends who thought the book was a little whiny, don't go see the movie. The movie follows the book pretty closely.
Maybe, because Earl and I walked on a fine August night to the little theater in our town, I was more open to enjoying the movie. Maybe because I had a box of Snow Caps in my lap and my husband beside me... Maybe because we have traveled to places like Italy and we enjoyed the scenery and the food... Maybe because we both dream of traveling and writing... Whatever the reason, most of the movie was enjoyable from the unglamorous character played by Julia Roberts to the hunky Brazilian guy she meets at the end.
Some of the complaints about the movie have made me laugh. The local newspaper said that in this down economy people wouldn't want to watch a woman indulge in traveling for a year.
Excuse me? That's exactly when Americans would want to watch someone take off on a three country vacation. Does the reviewer think we want to see a movie of someone struggling to pay off bills? We can see that in our own kitchens.
The reviewer also complained that the author/main character had nothing to whine about when you consider the Iraq war, the war in Afghanistan and other tragedies. Well, again, that is true for most Americans, isn't it?
When we say things are hard for us, that means we may have to wait two months to save up for that new dishwasher. Overall, most of us don't lead very difficult lives.
The beginning of the movie, the part that shows why she was so miserable and sought a divorce, isn't well established, but I'd read the book so I knew the background.
In the movie, I saw and heard glimpses of Elizabeth Gilbert's voice from the book. And in the book she provides nuggets of truth, things that I can relate to. Everyone knows that the television show Seinfeld was about nothing -- just everyday things that happened in the charcters' lives, somehow made funny.
This journey that Gilbert went on could be similarly characterized. There were no car chases, although she does get knocked off her bike by the hunky Brazilian, and that scene was very obvious. This is a movie about her wrestling with her emotions and healing from a bad divorce. A lot of people would prefer not to think about or deal with emotions.
For us, the movie was a chance to escape from teenage boys who are wondering why they can't play xbox on school nights, phone calls from our daughter who needs help figuring out whether to buy her books at the bookstore or online, bathrooms that need retiling, and bad television. It was a chance to go out for the night as a couple and watch some beautiful scenery, along with some emotional gymnastics.

7 comments:

Linda said...

I read the book a couple of years ago and loved it so much that I bought one for some of the women I know for Christmas - I don't think any of them have read it. I agree on your take of the movie. I enjoyed it but not as much as the book and isn't that usually the way it is. Of course I knew that would happen but I still enjoyed the scenery on the big screen and I love Julia Roberts so that was bonus.

In Need of a Movie Night said...

One of my favorite pleasures is putting away the last dish, opening up the paper, looking at the clock and just going to whatever is playing at the really really small theater just 5 minutes from home.

Whether it turns out that I like the movie or not doesn't much matter.

Anonymous said...

I loved loved the book. Timing is everything when it comes to my reaction to books. The book thoroughly entertained and inspired at the same time.

I recommended it to a friend who enjoyed it too. She offered it up at her book club about 4-5 months later, and they rebelled. Too Self Indulgent! They even convinced her that she didn't like it.

oh well...

Thanks for the review.

Suburban Kamikaze said...

Hah. You make it sound worse than I did.

SK

Sean Flanagan said...

Hey Paulita

Sorry took so long to respond!

My writing sadly like a lot of my burning desires mostly doesn't get off the ground!

My kids take up most of my energy, sometimes I can sneak in a bit of weightlifting or a trip to the gym.

Beyond that, sometimes I even get to work!

Life can be very chaotic - no, life IS very chaotic, always; very flexible structure, my mindset has to be reset to allow for basically, 'anything goes' and it seems on reflection that I spend most of my time with my kids, so that means choosing activities that can happily co-exist with looking after my children.
But, even as I write this it sounds hollow, like an excuse, so where lies the truth!
I suppose, but reserve the right to be entirely wrong, I love reading more than anything else and this seems to be my passion as it is something I can pick up and put down at ease in harmony with my little darlings. I am currently reading at a very rapid rate Dan Brown "The lost Symbol" and must admit I have just located all his other books on Amazon (I read The Da Vinci Code" a few years ago and cannot believe it is only now I am back into Dan Brown. Life is great! Have you read Ken Grimwood, my favourite (sadly deceased) author. Finally, I did read the excerpts of your work and am very impressed, keep at it! Sean
PS I will try to post this on your blog too!

Stephanie said...

Ooh! I was worried that I would be disappointed with the movie because I loved the book so much. Now I can't wait to see it.

I believe that you are the one that recommended the book to me too.

Linda said...

I enjoyed the book but haven't had a chance to see the movie which I will do as soon as it comes to a theatre near me. Nothing wrong with escapism in my opinion.

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