Friday, June 17, 2011

Movie Review: Eat, Pray, Be Selfish

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It's been awhile since I joined everyone for coffee, so if you don't remember what was going on...We spent a month traveling and visiting friends and family and are now in our new home in Delaware. If you'd like the whole story, scroll down for posts about our trip our cruise, trip to our hometown, my trip to Denver, CO, and the drive up the east coast.

Since we knew we would only be in this apartment for eight months, we opted to not get cable. Most of our shows are available on the internet and we have Netflix, and we figured if cable wasn't available, we would find something better to do. So in the last week, I have watched several movies I have been meaning to watch for quite some time. One of these was Eat, Pray, Love. I liked the previews for this movie and I love Julia Roberts.

For those of you that haven't read or seen it, it's a true story of a woman who goes on a journey of self-discovery to Italy, India, and Indonesia. She leaves her marriage and eventually finds herself a new one (or that was what I think we were supposed to assume as they set off into the sunset). I can't speak to the plot of the book, as I never read it.

Around the time this movie was coming out, I read some reviews of the movie and the book on a Christian website. I tried to check the book out to read myself, but the waiting list at the library was miles long (go figure). My best friend had read the book, and after hearing about it from her and reading the reviews, I decided that it was probably best that I not read the book. It wouldn't enhance my movie experience--it would probably make me not want to watch the movie. From what I understood, the movie is a much lighter version of the book (as is usually the case) and I would do best to stay light.

I enjoyed the Italy section a good bit, and like many searches for truth that are not Christ- or Biblical-based, the journey has merit. (I am often distressed by narrow-minded Christians who are not able to see the value in another religious or secular journey.)

However, when the final love interest made his debut and it became evident to me that this was the happy ending, I wasn't quite impressed. This woman left a marriage where nothing was obviously wrong to "find herself". I felt sorry for her husband as he sat there and said, You never mentioned this before. You never even gave me a chance to let you find yourself within our marriage. She apparently never attempted to address the issues that were bothering her until they were sitting down with a lawyer. I'm not too happy with what this teaches about marriage. Then, she goes on to another man before she takes her trip. She mentions at one point being something of a serial girlfriend (my word choice, not hers) while on the trip. But then finally, there is the "happy ending" man and we're supposed to think that by being able to say "yes" to this guy, she has really accomplished something. Has she? I guess I thought maybe she had decided she was meant for singleness, yet here is another guy.

Maybe I missed something in not having read the book. There is a very good chance that she was struggling with depression, or any number of other issues. But as far as the movie goes, I'm seeing a lot of selfishness. Though, giving her the benefit of the doubt, I have to believe that she will be different enough this time around to not walk out on this guy.

Anyone else read the book or see the movie?

Enjoy the below blogs from my friends at Home Sanctuary.


  1. I haven't read the book or seen the movie. I like your examination of it,though. I'll be curious about other people's reactions.

  2. I saw the movie, already knowing I wouldn't like it. You hit the nail on the head calling it "selfish". She basically decided to take a year off and go have fun, under the guise of "finding herself". It's not so much what she did as her walking away from her other responsibilities and refusal to even try to work on her marriage that grated.

  3. Hi there .. I did read the book and it is way more in depth. She did go through a rough time with depression. In the book she does seem as selfish as in the movie. I think you should read the book to understand her more.

  4. Hi Sweetness:
    I figured as much. Since she is a real person, I hate judge the story too harshly, lest it be taken as a judgment of her. I judge the writers more so in that they should have taken a little more creative liberty to change things from the book. By leaving out what they probably did leave out, though obviously necessary for time constraints, they created a less-likable character, in my opinion.

  5. I have read the book, but haven't seen the movie. I didn't dislike the book. I think I enjoyed reading about the cultures that she encountered more than the actual storyline.


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