Monday, August 23, 2010

Book vs. Movie: Eat, Pray, Love

"Liz Gilbert (Roberts) had everything a modern woman is supposed to dream of having - a husband, a house, a successful career - yet like so many others, she found herself lost, confused, and searching for what she really wanted in life. Newly divorced and at a crossroads, Gilbert steps out of her comfort zone, risking everything to change her life, embarking on a journey around the world that becomes a quest for self-discovery. In her travels, she discovers the true pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy; the power of prayer in India, and, finally and unexpectedly, the inner peace and balance of true love in." - from IMDB

I really wanted to like this movie because the book resonated so much with me, but the whole thing was incredibly disconcerting. The screenplay was completely disconnected, disjointed, and rushed. As far as the casting goes, it just felt off to me. Julia Roberts' stardom overwhelmed the story and Javier Bardem as Fillipe was not convincing to me at all (and hello? what on earth was up with the mix tapes???) The most convincing role was Richard Jenkins as Richard from Texas, but even his portrayal of that role was way more serious and aloof than I expected.

The movie took the story way too seriously than the lightheartedness with which the book was told. In the book, Liz Gilbert knows how to make fun of herself and to use humor when the situation called for it. But on screen everything felt so stoic and serious.

The only saving grace of this movie was the stellar beauty of the cinematography. The food porn in Italy alone was enough to make me want to hop a plane to Rome and stuff my face full of pasta and gelato.

Even with what I have already said about my dislike for this movie, I'm still having a difficult
time putting my finger on what exactly bothered me so much about it. Yes, it felt rushed and chopped up, but that's often what happens when books are turned into movies. Not really sure why this particular one didn't sit so well with me. I highly suggest you skip the movie and just read the book. If you really want to see it, save your money and wait till it comes out on DVD and check it out at the library.

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