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Eat, Pray, Love


Peter T Chattaway
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Steven Zeitchik @ Los Angeles Times:

All the 13-year-olds who were hoping to see Julia Roberts turn her life around after a divorce can rest easy: "Eat, Pray, Love" has been upgraded from an R to a PG-13 by the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

But filmgoers may get a little more than they bargained for. According to a statement from the group's Classification and Rating Appeals Board, the movie had been given an "R rating for 'brief strong language.' The film is now rated PG-13 for 'brief strong language, some sexual references and male rear nudity.' So it got the male rear nudity and ended up with a lesser rating? The ways of the MPAA are mysterious indeed.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 months later...

I've never read the book that this movie is based on, but if I'm not mistaken, the "eat" part takes place in Italy while the "pray" part takes place in India. So it's interesting that this poster, which shows Julia eating in Italy, would include a nun (indeed, I think there are at least two nuns in some versions of this picture). Could not Julia have done any praying in Italy, as well?

Eat-Pray-Love-Poster.jpg

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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In her lecture yesterday at The Glen Workshop, Lauren Winner referred to a book she recently read called Masticate, Meditate, and Masturbate.

That brought the house down.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I really need to find a used copy of the book. Anyone want to send me one? For some reason, can't figure out why, El Wifebo has read it more than two times that I know of. I need material to read to relate to her. Anyone want to help a marriage? (I'm serious.)

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In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Apparently, as a result of her work on this film, Julia Roberts has converted to Hinduism.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I just realized that this thread did not contain any reference to the fact that the woman this movie is based on was also the basis for Coyote Ugly.

But now it does. So there.

I'm not saying we should think of this movie as a sequel to Coyote Ugly, per se, but there are worse ways to amuse ourselves.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I really need to find a used copy of the book. Anyone want to send me one? For some reason, can't figure out why, El Wifebo has read it more than two times that I know of. I need material to read to relate to her. Anyone want to help a marriage? (I'm serious.)

Psuedo-Spanish nitpick: shouldn't that be "La Wifeba"?

Scott -- 2nd Story -- Twitter

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I just realized that this thread did not contain any reference to the fact that the woman this movie is based on was also the basis for Coyote Ugly.

But now it does. So there.

I'm not saying we should think of this movie as a sequel to Coyote Ugly, per se, but there are worse ways to amuse ourselves.

*SNORK*

(ahem)

Sorry, that just struck me funny. Yes, there are definitely worse ways to amuse ourselves!

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I've never read the book that this movie is based on, but if I'm not mistaken, the "eat" part takes place in Italy while the "pray" part takes place in India. So it's interesting that this poster, which shows Julia eating in Italy, would include a nun (indeed, I think there are at least two nuns in some versions of this picture). Could not Julia have done any praying in Italy, as well?

The answer is no. Despite repeated close-ups of St. Peter's, apparently Italy is only good for food. Julia does have a moment of enlightenment in a Roman landmark, but it's nothing Christian.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I just realized something. Coyote Ugly star Piper Perabo was billed at the time (by some, at least) as "the next Julia Roberts". So maybe we SHOULD think of Eat Pray Love as a sequel to that film. (One slight problem: Roberts is 9 years and 3 days older than Perabo. But oh well.)

I also find myself mulling over the fact that Coyote Ugly has nearly twice as many syllables as Eat Pray Love yet it takes up less space on the marquee.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I have no doubt that Ebert's review is more entertaining than the movie will be.

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100811/REVIEWS/100819999

For example:

In Bali she revisits her beloved adviser Ketut Liyer (Hadi Subiyanto), who is a master of truisms known to us all. Although he connects her with a healer who can mend a nasty cut with a leaf applied for a few hours, his own skills seem limited to the divinations anyone could make after looking at her, and telling her things about herself after she has already told him.
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David Poland makes an interesting observation:

But while this is a big step from his first feature... while I love his TV shows... Ryan Murphy is still unable to deliver honest emotion on the big screen. The movie ends up being exactly what it's origins wanted not to be... a travelogue with a whinny, seemingly wealthy, white woman who spends all of her time complaining when all she needs to do it to appreciate everything the audience is watching her have. . . .

The movie really lost me when it finally started hitting pay dirt and still failed us. Richard Jenkins is glorious to watch. And he delivers a second act speech that should have brought the house down. But Murphy simply has no idea how to shoot it to get his emotions on camera. There is a chill, as we seem to watch him melt down while the director was mostly concerned with making sure Julia was present in the scene. Argh!

Yeah, that Jenkins speech was really good; I found myself wondering how much of it would get edited out during the Oscar broadcast, because it really does seem destined for that sort of thing, but it's a little long to be shown in its entirety. (And it's not just the performance: it's written in a way that's rather interesting, too.) But I hadn't stopped to think about the way the speech -- and Julia's presence as the person to whom Jenkins is speaking -- was FRAMED.

I also have to say, I was struck by how Julia's opening voiceover talks about Cambodian boat people and how they survived war, genocide, a life-threatening trip across the ocean, etc., and yet how, when they had a chance to talk to some counselors, all they wanted to talk about was their relationships -- so it's therefore okay for Julia to tour the world's spiritual capitals between boyfriends, or something. It was kind of strange to hear the film begin by justifying its own deliberate banality like that.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Now here's an unusual endorsement. Teri Hatcher made the news earlier today for posting several photos of her face WITHOUT MAKEUP to her Facebook page, to prove that she doesn't use Botox ... and this photo was accompanied by the following caption:

Julia Roberts had that same vein in her forehead in Eat Pray Love. Proud of Julia for being a real woman on a real journey.

Like, okay, I must admit I noticed the vein on Julia's forehead too, but I didn't expect anyone to TALK about it, pro or con.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Wow, self-indulgent rich chick's angst = Cambodian genocide. I think that plus Teri Hatcher's quote are the most depressingly shallow things I've read in quite a while. On the other hand, if a forehead vein = spiritual maturity, my graying and thinning hair makes me a spiritual giant!

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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Andrew wrote:

: Wow, self-indulgent rich chick's angst = Cambodian genocide.

Oh, and I forgot to mention how the film makes a point of noting that Julia's character is able to afford her luxurious house in Bali because, thanks to the recent terrorist bombing in that country, the tourism industry has suffered. Terrorism = great deals on a vacation resort!

One thing the film DOESN'T mention -- and I just came across it in a review of the film a few hours ago -- is that Julia's character was able to afford all this because she got an advance from her publisher. She went there INTENDING to write a book, apparently. And since she did this after one of her magazine articles had been turned into a Jerry Bruckheimer film (i.e. Coyote Ugly), it stands to reason that she was hoping she could make a lot of moolah off of the movie rights on THIS project, too.

The film kind of tries to dodge all this, though, by implying that Julia's character has no money. How does it imply this? Two ways: one, by beginning with a scene in which a guru in Bali predicts that Julia's character will lose all her money but get it back; and two, by showing how, during her divorce proceedings at the beginning of the film, she offered her husband Everything (though the film never says whether he actually TOOK everything). And yet, the film never really says HOW she is paying for this trip.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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A.O. Scott's NY Times review contains this statement:

So many people in this world confront much graver threats to their well-being: violence, poverty, oppression. This woman has nothing but good luck! True enough, but the kind of class consciousness that would blame Liz for feeling bad about her life and then taking a year abroad to cure what ails her strikes me as a bit disingenuous — a way of trivializing her trouble on the grounds of gender without having to come out and say so.

If that makes sense to anyone, feel free to explain it to me.

It's the side effects that save us.
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The film kind of tries to dodge all this, though, by implying that Julia's character has no money. How does it imply this? Two ways: one, by beginning with a scene in which a guru in Bali predicts that Julia's character will lose all her money but get it back; and two, by showing how, during her divorce proceedings at the beginning of the film, she offered her husband Everything (though the film never says whether he actually TOOK everything). And yet, the film never really says HOW she is paying for this trip.

I started reading the book a couple months ago, and remember those two scenes from the book. And if I remember correctly, she offers the book advance as fulfillment of the geru's prediction.

Ah, here we go. I just dug out the book and found the section, chapter 10, page 35 (paperback edition).

I have quit my job, paid off my divorce settlement and legal bills, given up my house, given up my apartment, put what belongings I had left into storage in my sister's place and packed up two suitcases. My year of traveling has commenced. And I can actually afford to do this because of a staggering personal miracle: in advance, my publisher has purchased the book I shall write about my travels. It all turned out, in other words, just as the Indonesian medicine man had predicted. I would lose all my money and it would be replaced immediately - or at least enough of it to buy me a year of life.
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My review.

In our consumerist therapeutic culture, if your life has fallen apart and you want to find yourself, heal yourself, indulge yourself, and possibly find God — or whatever is the next best thing — you can take a year off and travel to exotic places, like Italy, India and Indonesia, if you can afford it.

If you can’t afford it, then you may be able to fund the trip with an advance from a publisher on the memoir you will write after your trip. If you’re lucky, Oprah will like your book, and it will spend up to three years on
The New York Times
best-seller list.

And if you can’t do that either, then you can at least buy the book, watch the Oprah show, and go see the movie. There are lots of books out there to choose from, and some movies too, and no end of Oprah shows, to learn all about what it is that is missing in your life and what you can do about it, or what other people have done about it who have more money than you.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I swear, in another life I would have written a blog post by now examining whether this film was more or less culturally insensitive or inappropriate than Sex and the City 2.

In SatC2, the women make no bones about the fact that they have gone overseas for materialistic reasons -- to live it up in a luxurious hotel at someone else's expense, etc. But, when their morals and their sense of freedom butt up against what they perceive to be the repression of women overseas, they don't hesitate to "take a stand", even if it's just flipping the bird while running for their lives or whatever.

In EPL, on the other hand, we're supposed to embrace the whole thing as a spiritual quest while paying scant attention to the fact that the protagonist is living it up in her own way -- and not only does the film turn a blind eye to the political issues of our age, but it even cites them as one of the reasons why our protagonist is able to live it up so affordably. That wonderfully airy house in Bali with the great view, where she gets to make oh-so-romantic love to Javier Bardem? Thanks to some faraway (?) terrorist attack, she gets to pay less rent for the place!

EPL is certainly a "classier" film on the level of CRAFT, what with the performances and the camerawork and so on. But it's just as superficial and driven by stereotypes as SatC2, except it tends to treat its own stereotypes as profound insights rather than sending them up or whatever (did you know Italians talk with their hands? really, apparently they do!).

And quite frankly, to be honest, I found more that I could RELATE to in SatC2 than I did in EPL. The scene in SatC2 where Kristin Davis hides in the kitchen closet from her children and cries? The set-up is absurd on a number of levels (who in their right mind would wear vintage designer brands -- and easy-to-mess-up white ones, at that -- while baking with their kids!?), but dammit, when she broke down in the closet, *I* got misty-eyed. *I*, quite frankly, am still adjusting to stay-at-home family life after enjoying the freedom of the single life well into my mid-30s. But what exactly is Julia Roberts' problem in EPL? She likes to travel and her husband doesn't? The film certainly doesn't give us much more than that, and nothing we learn about Julia's character afterwards makes her particularly more sympathetic.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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-- and not only does the film turn a blind eye to the political issues of our age, but it even cites them as one of the reasons why our protagonist is able to live it up so affordably. That wonderfully airy house in Bali with the great view, where she gets to make oh-so-romantic love to Javier Bardem? Thanks to some faraway (?) terrorist attack, she gets to pay less rent for the place!

Interesting. Haven't read the book, and have little-to-no interest in the film, but the comment on terrorism in Bali is interesting. I was there last summer, and stayed in Kuta Beach, which is the main tourist hub. Bali is a small island, and the terror attack(s) happened right on the main drag in Kuta. I find it hard to believe that they would treat this so nonchalantly.

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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NCRegister.com comment from a very witty guy named Victor:

I guess what’s a little distressing, as you note, is the sheer number of books and movies of this type (reveling in the pleasures of body and yet so wholly dismissive of what the body really means)... perhaps we should start calling this genre “Gnosh-tic Literature” or something.

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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In her lecture yesterday at The Glen Workshop, Lauren Winner referred to a book she recently read called Masticate, Meditate, and Masturbate.

Or Clean Your Plate, Contemplate, Copulate?

From Gnocchi to Gnosis to Nooky?

Roma, Rama, Red Hot Mama?

Edited by mrmando

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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