"Eat Pray Love" Review: You May Cry, But It May Not Be Worth It | Film Reviews | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Film Reviews

"Eat Pray Love" Review: You May Cry, But It May Not Be Worth It

Lusciously shot by Oscar winner Robert Richardson (The Aviator, JFK), Eat Pray Love delivers a sensory overload as intense as Inception's. But it's heavily calibrated to stir the hearts, loins, and tear ducts of women for whom love handles and spiritual bankruptcy are of equally pressing concern.

Julia Roberts' Liz leaves behind flaky husband Billy Crudup and "Yonkers yogi" boy-toy James Franco to embark on a year-long solo walkabout, with stops in Italy, India, and Bali. Writer/director Ryan Murphy keeps emotional currents bubbling on the surface, serving up near-constant catharsis but hardly any arc—the title is a spoiler in three parts. As vicarious travelogue, EPL stumbles by flattening its loaded locations into (beautifully photographed) set dressing.

Politics and economics hardly exist; each place is populated chiefly by wise exotics who talk funny (including Richard Jenkins's Texan in the ashram) and exist solely to spout slogans and tell stories that make Liz's problems seem small: "Believe in love again!" "Americans know entertainment, but not pleasure!" "It won't last forever—nothing does!" Liz's happily-ever-after hookup with hunky divorcée Javier Bardem should be EPL's glorious guilty-pleasure crescendo; instead, it's a rushed foregone conclusion.

Though targeted at the same female filmgoers who flocked to the self-realization via food porn of Julie and Julia, EPL is a comparative downer, offering the rush of self-improvement without having to do any of the work. I cried. Mission accomplished?

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Karina Longworth

Latest Stories