Eat, Pray Love Made Me Hungry

Eat, Pray, Love. Javier Bardem and Julia Robers in Bali.

I saw Eat, Pray, Love this past weekend, and it made me hungry—for Italian food, for marvelous life, and for Javier Bardem. I read the book when it first came out, so I knew it was a memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert, about Elizabeth Gilbert. I very much related to the book, so I was interested (and a little defensive, maybe) to see how casting would work out.

Julie Roberts, I was okay with, although I hadn’t see her in anything I’d particularly enjoyed in years. Billy Crudup as her ex-husband? Perfect. Richard Jenkins as Richard? Excellent. Javier Bardem as Felipe? Urg … um … that guy with the creepy hair from No Country for Old Men? Urg … what?

Apologies. I’m getting ahead of myself.

Eat, Pray, Love is the memoir of “Liz” Gilbert. Liz has everything a modern woman is supposed to dream of having—a husband, a house, a successful career—yet she finds herself lost, confused, and searching for what she really wants in life. Following her heart-breaking and messy divorce, Liz has an affair with a younger man, David. She begins to dress like David, think like David, eat like David … she comes to realize that whenever she is in a relationship, she soaks up the personality of her mate. For years, she has been a woman with no identity, and upon this realization, Liz goes numb. She feels nothing, and in order to feel again, she decides to break free of her comfort zone and leave the U.S. for a year. In that year, she will visit Italy, India, and Bali. Hence, “eat, pray, love.”

Julia Roberts looks amazing in this movie. Whatever she’s eating and putting on her skin at night, I want it. Liz’s interior dialogue is priceless. She thinks about a lot of things I think about, which is again, why I so thoroughly related to Eat, Pray, Love, in book form. Bill Crudup, cast as her emotional ex-husband, did nothing but look teary in an elevator at one point, and it made me sob. Richard Jenkins, telling his own story of loss and despair, similarly had me biting the inside of my lip to stop from crumbling to the floor in tears. And as I mentioned, Javier Bardem, as her love interest in Bali, was sexy and utterly charming. (Where the heck did that come from? He is perfect as a creepy dude; now, I believe he’s perfect as a romantic lead, as well.)

Overlooking Rome in Eat, Pray, Love.
The beautiful locations made me want to pack my bags and leave town. In the film, Liz wants to “marvel at something.” There is plenty of marveling, for Liz and the audience. Each location has its own charm, and the director does a good job of changing the tempo to further illuminate the heightened cultural differences between, say, Italy and India. The music was all over the map—highlighted by Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” and “Harvest Moon” (which again, made me get all emotional)—plus a score like a 1960s romance flick.

What I’m trying to say: Eat, Pray, Love is an emotional flick. There are at least a dozen gems hidden from scene to scene—lessons to live by, similar to what I learned while reading the book. Generally, this is a movie about SLOWING DOWN. It starts in Italy, when the Italians talk about “the art of doing nothing.” It moves on when Liz heads to India, where she learns to control her thoughts, empty her mind, and FOCUS on what’s important.

Then, in Bali, the real message of Eat, Pray, Love: we ultimately learn and grow through our human relationships. Regretting past relationships is pointless. Everywhere we have been (and everyone we’ve met) has helped us to become the people we are today. If we would have avoided that past pain, our lives would have been changed for the worst, because we never would have learned that lesson, persevered, and become stronger.

On a personal level, Eat, Pray, Love reminded me to marvel again: at the palm trees, at the sky, at the taste of Jake’s cooking. It made me want to take up meditation so that I can become more focused with a quieter mind and increased peace. It taught me that I must stop regretting the past, because everything I have ever done has led me here, to who I am today. Finally, Eat, Pray, Love made me realize that we’re all spiritual gurus—that we learn the meaning and importance of life through each other.

Eat, Pray, Love is a peaceful movie that’ll make you laugh but will also make you cry. I would suggest seeing it … yes, even if you’re a dude.

6 thoughts on “Eat, Pray Love Made Me Hungry

  1. I agree that Eat Pray Love was an emotional flick (yeah I’m a guy and I went to see it voluntarily, without arm-twisting. However the reciprocation movie that was agreed upon in advance is The Expendables. :-)), but I was very creeped out by Javier Bardem, who I didn’t realize was Javier Bardem until you just mentioned that it is Javier Bardem. Eat Pray Love…blow up?

    I instantly did not like this strangeoid when he kissed his son on the mouth. That’s just weird, and although I’m sure it is a cultural thing, to me is simply weird. Did I mention it was weird? LOL

    Then, he gives that speech to Julia Roberts toward the end of the movie saying that she should make jump, and give into him, blah blah blah, and after protesting vehemently, she jumped on the boat with him the next day! To me, this seemed the antithesis of what the movie stood for, which was finding yourself. I just personally thought that she was caving in to the guy’s wishes, and she would inevitably end up exactly where she was before she went on her journey of self discovery…albeit on a secluded island with no HDTV.

    Just my thoughts out loud. 😀

  2. Sara,

    You don’t know me at all and I found your blog through a google search (my last name is actually very similar to yours).
    I have been following your blog for a while now and I just have to say I really enjoy reading about your life. And this post REALLY made me want to go out and see Eat, Pray, Love. I read the book and liked it a lot, and was also skeptical about Julia Roberts as Liz. (In the book Liz is so vulnerable and self depreciative, it’s hard for me to imagine Roberts being able to portray that). Anyway, thanks for sharing yor thoughts on the movie.
    On a side note, I’m a writer (journalist) as well and I’ve been wanting to start up my own blog. After reading yours I might just have to start blogging about my life too.

    1. A “Dobies!” Nice to meet you!!! Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog. As a writer, it’s always a comfort to hear someone out there is reading. You should see the movie, especially if you’ve read the book. Roberts did an excellent job, although I suppose she is a bit more confident than the “Liz” in the book. I would definitely suggest starting a blog. It’s a pleasant, quiet form of personal catharsis. And please let me know when you do so that I can read along! Thanks, again!

  3. Ha. I expect a full review of The Expendables. I’ll probably see it on video, but that’s just because I love Jason Statham and Mickey Rourke.

    You didn’t realize that was Javier Bardem?? I guess I did because I was shocked when they cast him as a romantic lead. In regards to that … kissing on the mouth is definitely a cultural thing. I was kissed by total strangers everyday when I was in Europe. Weird to an American, yes, but normal to Europeans. In fact, NOT kissing is weird over there, in France in particular.

    And in regards to the ending, I think, through her relationship with Felipe, she finally realized that she had found herself, because she makes a conscious, well thought-out decision to be with the guy. The whole time, she was afraid of losing balance, as she had done in so many relationships prior to Bali. However, when she goes to see her medicine man one last time, he makes it clear that although balance is GOOD, life would be meaningless if we never lose balance a little bit–especially for love. I think being able to accept this is what shows Liz’s strength.

    Plus, they end up together in real life. Since it is a memoir, it’s kinda hard to alter fact … 🙂 MY thoughts out loud.

  4. I came across ur blog when I was searching the places she visited in bali. Nice movie but the ending was kinda left hanging. Didn’t like it at all. I’ve been to bali for 4 times now, and today I am gonna fly back there. I will try to see the places she went in the movies, this time carrying my photography equipment to capture everything.

    You guys should visit bali. There are places with strong spirituality far away from westernized beaches. I used to like kuta beach but now, I wanna visit the quieter calm place where there are no bars, hard rocks, loud music and local gigolos (not that I’ve hired one..) Lol..

    1. I would love to go to Bali. It was my late uncle’s favorite place on earth. I’ll get there. That said, I hate flying, and I understand the flight is reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally long. Can you say “cocktails?” Have fun overseas! Get a gigolo haha!

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