First there was the book Eat Pray Love. I read it long before the hype and loved it. It really spoke to me and I enjoyed reading about the spiritual journey of Elizabeth Gilbert after the collapse of her marriage.
In anticipation of the release of the movie I listened to the audio book to remind myself why I enjoyed it. I once again enjoyed the intelligent narrative written with brutal honesty. I could relate to the idea of her desire to learn the Italian language simply because of the beauty of it, and I admired her courage to go to Italy to immerse herself in that language and beauty.
Now I have seen the movie and I luxuriated in the stunning visual feast on the big screen at the beautiful old Rivoli theatre in Camberwell. Despite omitting significant parts of the story, it was still well over two hours long. Her depression within the context of living in New York City during the September 11 terrorist attacks was not mentioned and I think this was a major contributing factor leading to her marriage breakdown. Without this fact she was characterised in the movie as being more superficial than she portrays herself in her book. One can only assume that Elizabeth Gilbert agreed to the changes. There were other small changes that were not significant but robbed me of the same enjoyment I found in these details when I read the book. The delicious cinematography in magnificent locations compensated for the rich text that was edited out.
Julia Roberts plays the role well despite my lack of enthusiasm to see her in this movie. Javier Bardem is perfect as the Brazilian Felipe.
The sequel Committed is another intelligent discussion about marriage through history and culture. It follows the love story of Elizabeth and Felipe as they negotiate their rocky emotional journey. It is definitely worth a read. Now for the soundtrack from the movie….