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Film review: Eat Pray Love
Directed: Ryan Murthy
Cast: Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, Richard Jenkins
Running time: 133 mins
Eat Pray Love is another disappointing film targeted at middle-aged women using the mould of inherently flawed Sex and the City 2. The plot is even the same: a rich successful writer travels afar to patronise a variety of global stereotypes in order to find herself.
The main problem is Julia Robert’s lead character. It is hard to empathise with a character that complains about life despite being rich, successful and having a loving husband. And these complaints seem even more outrageous considering the film’s opening gambit is about genocide.
Furthermore, she then leaves this loving husband and embarks on a year of spiritual globetrotting. Once again, just like the scenes between Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big in Sex & the City 2, the audience will firmly be on the side of the hapless husband, which clearly isn’t the film’s intention.
I wouldn’t mind so much if the moral were that you don’t need a man to live a fulfilled life. But the film’s happy ending sees her (literally) sailing off into the sunset with Javier Bardem.
Admittedly, its target audience will have a good time. It provides escapism above all else. 134 minutes of exotic locations, attractive people and wish fulfillment. Indeed, it has already made an offensive $82 million at the box office.
But aside from that, Eat Pray Love is overlong, the laughs fall flat, the dramatic scenes feel contrived (aside from one scene with Richard Jenkins) and it is populated with smug wealthy characters. And all this is directed by the creator of Glee. You would expect something a little more fun.