In mulling it over the past couple of days (which included a return trip to Wagga Wagga so LOTS of mulling time) the best thing about Eat Pray Love may well have been the piercing fire alarm that went off half way through and forced Greater Union to cough up a free ticket for each of us.
Of course I had a good time, but that's more because it's always fun to be out with the girls (might I add props to Sarah for getting us into a Chicks at the Flicks session, IE the premiere for our local and free goody bag to boot! I don't think we can ever go and see another movie in any other way!) not because of the technicolour feast that wasn't.
The year spent with Julia Robert's Liz Gilbert is stilted and disconnected. The three parts of the film feel as unrelated to each other as the three countries they play out in. Liz's physical and emotional journey is nothing short of tedious and it's hard to know who to go to for that? The actor, the writers, the director? I don't know. I didn't find the film thought provoking in any way at all (unlike the book which stopped me in my very tracks sometimes) and I couldn't invest in any of the cardboard relationships (maybe with the exception of the one between Liz & Richard from Texas which felt the most real). I didn't for one moment feel Liz's exhaustion and desperation in her marriage. The only reason I could see that she might want to leave Billy Crudup's Stephen was because he was an exceptionally bad singer (and dancer for that matter) who didn't want to go to Aruba. The Aruba thing of course was symbolic, I get it. But I didn't feeeeeeeeeeeel it like I did when I read the book.
And therein lies the problem - I enjoyed the book so much the film was bound to disappoint (when does a film ever live up to its literary predecessor?). So though I want to give it more than than 2.5 out of 5 popcorn kernels, because I do love 'Hooliah' in just about everything else she has done and Richard Jenkins' turn as remorseful Richard from Texas was quite moving, I can't. I'm sorry. Skip the movie and spend the $ on buying the book instead.