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:: Eat Pray Love

Believing there's more to life than a husband, house and career, Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) finds herself with a new appetite for life in this inspiring true story, based on the best-selling book. She leaves New York and embarks on a year-long journey, traveling to Italy, India and Bali whilst seeking self-discovery through good food, meditation and the prospect of finding true love.

The main problem filming novels about introspective journeys of discovery is that what’s really important tends to be glossed over in favour of what’s easy to film. That’s certainly the problem with Eat, Pray, Love. While there is a lot to admire in this film, most of it is the scenery. There’s the stunning architecture and food of Italy, gorgeous sunsets and temples in India and the hillsides of Bali will take your breath away. It’s almost as if a conglomerate of travel companies decided to fund the movie, as several people will start booking holidays straight after watching this film.

While it certainly looks good, Eat, Pray, Love doesn’t necessarily nourish you as a journey of spirituality should. One of the problems is that Liz comes across as a selfish woman paying lip-service to entire cultures and customs to find easy answers to her personal problems. A fluctuating performance from Roberts doesn’t help us empathise with her character in any way, shape or form. For a movie to be anything more than a travel guide, that’s one of the bare requirements.

The performances by some of the others are very good, especially Richard Jenkins as a damaged Texas spiritualist who steeps the movie in intimacy. Also showing their capabilities are a crushed ex-husband Billy Crudup, cute yogi James Franco, the Bali-dwelling Javier Bardem.

Extras on the DVD include a director’s cut, the soundtrack and a mini-feature on the director’s “journey” in creating the film.

DVD Extras

The Eat Pray Love Soundtrack
Ryan Murphy’s Journey with Eat Pray Love