Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Review: Eat, Pray, Love

Okay, this was too funny. I did not plan on going to the very first matinee showing of Eat, Pray Love the first day it was released. But I needed to drive over to the Quilt Shop in Durango and it seemed inconceivable NOT to go to the movies.
First, there was literally pilgrimage of women, driving up and walking into the Theatre, some by themselves and some in pairs. But most all- a LOT older than me- which I thought was interesting.
Then it just got funnier inside when we stood under gigantic cardboard cut outs of these guys, in their black leather, holding their machine guns to buy our tickets.
I rarely read books that get turned into movies, but had read or listened to Eat Pray Love, twice actually, so was extra analytical watching the movie and was surprised by several things, that thought artistic license has to be given to changing a book into a movie- These changes, I think, changed the whole "flavor" and really outcome of the movie.
First Gilbert, in the book, went to great length to explain her desire to protect those she came into contact with in that year of travel and only "Richard from Texas" name, upon his request, was not changed. Gilbert explained she had no desire to bring undue attention to the really people.
Well the movie did nothing less than make her husband look like a complete undirected idiot, when in reality he also took a year of travel and actually did humanitarian work to re-find himself. All I can say is .... the poor guy!
All and all, I would have to say that the movie toned down the book- many of the characters were way more extreme- it wasn't her Brazilian husband who ran her off the road and their relationship to me in the movie, set a different tone in the book- where he campaigned to be her "Lover" not her champion and gave a huge speech that he would basically spend the rest of his days...."worshipping the ground she walked on.
I do think the book had some messages, good ones all women could benefit from, how to come to terms with who you are- as a women- but I think the movie feel short - really? the whole conclusion to enjoying food again for being food- in Italy- was a obsession with "fat pants!"
I guess I have "tones" on the brain- which some might argue as are subdual unimportant difference, but I think all books and movies have a flavor and in my mind the book and the movie should at least have the SAME flavor.
Also I was amazed the Julia Roberts did not talk more-either to other characters or in narrative- since the book is a continuous monologue, of her reflections of her experiences. So how can a movie of observing those experiences really bring us to the same place as the book in the end?
There really was not much of a story arc in the book or the movie for that matter- there Really was nothing at stake- i.e.- a gold ring to risk all to get in the volcano- it was a linear story, and the resolution at the end was weak to say the least.
I'd say that thought the movie was interesting, as the hype around it, in the end it just seemed a little flat.

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