As Hollywood dropped the commas from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Eat, Pray, Love; we all sat waiting to watch if there would be a fitting parallel in celluloid.
(If you haven’t read the book, the line is: Gilbert breaks up her relationship and chucks her life in New York to search for happiness while eating and meditating in Italy, praying in India and finding love in Indonesia. Her tale touched a nerve with so many and became a best-seller.)
Here are some of the first reviews that came in as Eat Pray Love was released in theatres on Friday.
The Canadian Press: It’s easy to see why author Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir became an international phenomenon, even without help from Oprah. Everyone’s looking for something — for answers, for their true and higher purpose — and Gilbert had the fortitude (and the wherewithal) to take off alone on a journey around the world to find herself after her divorce.
"Eat Pray Love" does exactly what it should to satisfy its core audience: It provides a gorgeous escape, exquisitely photographed and full of female wish fulfillment. Yet it also offers sufficient emotional heft and self-discovery to make you feel as if you’ve actually learned something and, perhaps, emerged a better person solely through osmosis.
The Hollywood Reporter: There is an undeniable attractiveness to all this, however doubtful the self-realization lessons may be. … The charms of each location and the vigor of the film’s supporting players cast a romantic glow. No, travel — and certainly self-realization — is quite like this … But it should be.
New York daily News: Still, the locations are lush, the costumes vibrant, the varying moods properly atmospheric. And the truth is, Gilbert’s book wasn’t a runaway smash because it told the story of the woman who wrote it, but because it reflected the stories – or fears, or fantasies – of the women who read it.
Los Angeles times: Just as the book turned out to be a perfect vehicle for Gilbert to work through all manner of emotional highs and lows, the movie creates space and a place for Roberts to give into wave after wave of feelings as she moves through resentment, guilt, regret, forgiveness, joy and hope to change her life.
With such reviews coming in, I am all set to catch the various moods of Julia Roberts (Liz) travelling across the world. And sigh at the Javier Bardem! Won’t You?