"If you're brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting.... and set out on a truth-seeking journey.... and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher.... then the truth will not be withheld from you."Many people cope with unfulfillment, or disenchantment, with a carton of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, a bottle of tequila or at their nearest mall. But New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert decided to pack up her things and jet set across the world in Eat, Pray, Love to, well, find her passion again.
Though her life at home didn't seem as horrific as she felt it was (nice job, great husband, wonderful friends and beautiful home), Liz (played by Julia Roberts) fortunately had the means to just pick up and leave her old life behind her to go find another one. After ditching a quick stint with the lovely but directionless David (played by James Franco) in New York, Liz decides to give up love affairs for a while to focus on finding a true love...in Italy, then India, and finally Bali. Along her journey, several interesting people blow into her life, including a Texan man on his spiritual journey (Richard Jenkins), a Swedish transport in Italy (Tuva Novotny), and a nurturing Brazilian (Javier Bardem), who each serve as a stepping stone on her way to finding greater goodness. Amidst the whirlwind, and perhaps hasty, take-off, Liz's trip ultimately lends to a perfect romance with her life again.
An engaging but deliberate chick flick at times, Eat, Pray, Love has the quintessential chick flick star at the helm with Roberts, who played the role beautifully, even if in the beginning you wanted to smack her for giving up a life so many people want, and for no clear reason but for the one in her head. Watching her have a mini mid-life meltdown was like watching a dog chase his behind; you don't know why it's happening but you're sorta curious to see when and how it will end up. Thankfully the remainder of the movie (which is most of it), makes you want to champion her along as she indulges in one decadent dish after another, sink deep into each country's customs, and learn a new thing about herself every step of the way. Bardem, Jenkins and Novotny exquisitely portray various vignettes throughout Liz's journey that is further punctuated by spectacular cinematography and a truly delightful story.
Reel Talk rating: A-