I normally wouldn’t review a chick flick; I’m not the target demographic. But guys know that we get dragged along to these movies so it’s nice to know what to expect going in. Usually it’s to be bored to tears… not so with this movie. This movie actually made me angry. And I’ll explain…
The main problem with Eat, Pray, Love is the main character, played by Julia Roberts. She has no redeemable qualities whatsoever… she leaves the marriage she’s in because she feels trapped, quickly starts another relationship with another man and leaves (because she feels trapped) and then barely survives a third relationship (which she almost left because she felt trapped.) She can’t stand the thought of living in one place, working, and raising kids (you know… what normal people do). The thought of settling down and starting a family so terrifies this woman that she drops everything to travel the world for a year.
That’s right… we’re supposed to sympathize with a woman who displays open vitriol towards the typical way of life and then travels the world on a whim because she wouldn’t be complete without those experiences. Guess what lady? That’s not how the world works! You can’t say that people are “incomplete” if they haven’t eaten pizza in Naples or visited a Buddhist temple in India… because 99% of people don’t get to do that!!! We can’t just put aside everything and travel because we feel trapped. We have responsibilities and obligations. Working through those problems is what makes us complete human beings. Avoiding them entirely is what children do.
And the character is extremely immature. That’s why it’s so difficult to like her. And Julia Roberts built a career on being “likable.” Let’s be honest, she doesn’t have much else going for her (but she can fit a whole basketball into her mouth, so that’s something.) I hated every minute she was on screen. And she was never off screen. For 3 hours.
I’ll give the movie credit where it’s due… it did not shy away from showing the hurt Julia’s character caused the men in her life. She brought two grown men to tears, and turned their lives upside down, and they show that. There’s a pretty powerful shot of her ex-husband standing in an elevator crying as the doors close, knowing that his marriage is over.
But then the movie goes and throws away whatever credit it had earned by saying that Julia Roberts can find redemption by “forgiving herself.” How about apologizing to those she hurt? Nope, doesn’t matter. She needs to find peace in herself to be happy. All bystanders be damned.
The faux-spiritual middle third of the movie really bothered me too. Julia Roberts engages in what I like to call Religous Tourism. She becomes a “devout” Buddhist (without, you know, the sacrifice or hard work that makes Buddhism so powerful). She’s a rich white woman who spends months at a monastary because she can… she knows she’ll still be rich and white when she leaves. There’s no real sacrifice made. She never suffers for her redemption. She just gets it when she imagines her scorned ex forgiving her. SHE NEVER EARNED IT!!!!
This movie is complete and utter shit. It’s long, it’s boring, the main character is completely unlikable, and it’s openly insulting to anyone that actually lives a normal life. I don’t care if it’s based on a true story… I wouldn’t like the author in real-life either! The book’s a best-seller because the majority of people in the world are idiots. They read it (or see the movie) and think that the author is SO BRAVE! She risked everything to find herself! SHE DIDN’T RISK ANYTHING!!! SHE’S A SPOILED RICH WHITE BITCH WHO LEFT A TRAIL OF DESTRUCTION IN HER PATH, BREAKING HEARTS OF MEN THAT LOVED HER, USING FRIENDS AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS TO FULFILL HER OWN SELF-INDULGENT FANTASIES ABOUT WHAT A “WHOLE” PERSON SHOULD BE, AND GIVES NOTHING BACK TO ANYONE. I HATE THIS MOVIE.
Final Verdict: (Seething anger)