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IN SHORT: Dull. Dull. Dull. . [Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexual references and male rear nudity.135 minutes]
We suspect that the Source Material for this film was a terrific, engrossing read. The kind that a director tries to bring to the screen exactly as it read. We saw this happen earlier in the year with the Watchmen film, which was just about as close to its roots as a film adaptation could get. Now, with Eat Pray Love comes another one ... we can tell it must have been a great read 'cuz it bored the junk out of us in the theater.
Any lady friend of ours would be punching us - hard - in the arm for that last statement. But what it is is what it is. Eat Pray Love is a very dull film whose story goes in places that the emotional underpinnings don't support.
Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts), as best as we can figure, is some sort of writer for a travel magazine (sic). When we first meet her she is in Bali, meeting with Ketut Liyer, a local wise man who predicts that she will see him again in her future; that she would be married twice. Once for a very long time. Once for not so long.
Move on to Liz's urban life. She is married, to a man named Stephen (Billy Crudup) and settled in the great city of New York but, one night, the veneer of modernity cracks -- it helps that Liz has her own comfortable piece on the side (a lover, David, played by James Franco) and Liz decides she needs out of her comfort zone . . . I think that's the way said decision to dump the hubby in an incredibly nasty divorce action and run from the job as fast as possible is phrased . . . Her journey -- oh boy do we hate that phrasing -- takes her first to Italy, where she settles in a cold water hovel and force feeds herself the language as well as the food, and makes new friends with interesting (also) expatriated visitors. In this case a lovely Swede woman Sofi (Tuva Novotny) [and her set of friends] fulfill the EAT portion of the title -- Italy is a terrific place to eat. It is also a terrific place to be chastised by older motherly types who tell Liz that she should be married.
So its time to fly off to an ashram in India -- ashram's are for PRAYing. There Liz befriends a 17 year old Tulsi (Rushita Singh) who is about to be bound in marriage to a man she's never met. She isn't all that thrilled with the events to come but they are colorful and festive and heck... what are we to make of a bonding sequence -- older woman calming nervous younger woman, we guess -- when we've got no interest in the events on screen? Serving as an age appropriate companion -- we're not at the Love part yet -- is Richard Jenkins as a guy from Texas who looks like James Taylor. He's got his own stuff he's trying to deal with, spiritually-wise. Still, we didn't care
Finally its back to Bali, because the wise man told her she'd be back. There she enjoys riding through the countryside until some jerk named Filipe (Javier Bardem) runs her down with his jeep, 'cuz he was fiddling with his radio and took his eyes off the road.
That means it is time for LOVE. We're not going to explain the complexities of getting from accident to love because that would be giving it away.
Or maybe by the time the film gets to this part we were wondering when in this century the film would finally be over. We were not the only ones shifting back and forth in our seat. And that is as truthful as you can get. Ladies, do not be surprised if your gent friend roles over and wishes for death as the film drags on and on.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Eat Pray Love, he would have paid . . .
We take that back. Just by chance, while we were writing, Cranky's mom called. We asked if she had read the book. She had. Ah Ha! we thought, telling her she'll love it if she loved the book. "No," she said. The book was boring, terrible and overrated."
And that there's the better three word summary.
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