SITTING THROUGH Eat Pray Love is a lot like being trapped inside of your mother's daydreams for two and a half hours. Or how about: It's like touring Epcot Center with a girl you've been friends with since college, but who's grown up to be the most insufferable twat.
Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling memoir—which chronicles the year she spent, post-messy divorce, seeking snacks, enlightenment, and rimjobs in Italy, India, and Bali—attracted some critical ire for its privileged position on personal growth. And yes, there is something icky about the book's suggestion that the culinary, spiritual, and carnal resources of the world should be harnessed toward helping middle-aged women get over their divorces. Anyone hoping for a film adaptation that sensitively navigates these straits of cultural shortsightedness has clearly never seen a Julia Roberts movie before.
Roberts plays Gilbert, and here, try and guess what country she's in: (1) Clothes hang in narrow streets while roving gangs of hoods ogle women's butts and Gilbert decides she doesn't care about her "muffin top" anymore even though she weighs like 100 pounds and also, spaghetti. (2) Poor kids ask her for money and then a friendly elephant fans her with its ears! (3) A medicine man reads her palm and then she does tequila shots and then she fucks Javier Bardem for like two weeks straight.
Despite Eat Pray Love's two-and-a-half-hour runtime, the film feels rushed, and schizophrenic editing makes Gilbert seem even crazier than we already know she is. Also, she wears lots of dowdy denim ensembles, which is clearly a calculated bid to make this film relatable to the hordes of depressed middle-aged women who probably don't need encouragement not to worry about their muffin tops, and who are going to make this movie an incredible success no matter how many snarky things I say about it.