Eat, Pray, Love – A Man’s Perspective

When it comes to movies I like to think I’m pretty open-minded, however if I were to be honest and you asked me to name my all-time favourites – they’d be very much in the category of “Man movies.” There’s a part of me that is deep, transparent and emotive, yet I’m also extremely comfortable with a time when the former Governor of California was a murderous, futuristic robot.

Van Damme kicking trees with his shins? Yes, that truly rocks my socks. I also have a lot of time for Slyvester Stallone and ‘Karate Kid’ montage’s.

BUT it has been known for me to like a couple of chick flicks; “How to lose a guy in 20 days” (or is it 10? 30? I don’t know, who cares!?) was one of the first chick flicks to work its way into my system. (Oh Kate Hudson, you and your funny ways) *Squeezes Hudson’s pretty little dimples.*

I love watching My Girl when it repeats, for sentimental reasons – as I went to see it at the cinema with a loved one who is no longer with us.

And then…The NotebookI would actually put it in my all-time top 10, possibly 5 and I have absolutely no shame in admitting this. Beautiful movie!

So as a soon to be traveller, who reads enough travel blogs to warrant an intervention – there was only going to be one travel-related chick flick that demanded my attention; Eat, Pray, Love.

The story of an unsatisfied married woman who leaves her job and everything she knows, to find meaning in her life…..stay with me, lads ;) I took it upon myself to watch this movie with a completely open mind and document my perception of this flick for the chicks, and finish it off with a little review. Enjoy!

Five minutes in: I’m trying to work out if I find Julia Roberts fit or not. (For my North American readers, fit = hot). She’s like one of them magic eyes, she looks lovely in some camera angles and kind of weird in other angles.

Ten minutes in: I find myself captivated by a scene; Robert’s character (Elizabeth Gilbert) is lying in bed with her husband and suddenly says (in reference to their relationship); “I can’t do this anymore.” She then feels like absolute shit for the rest of the night, crying while praying for some guidance. Why was I so captivated by such a simple scene? Because it’s not so far away from what I did when I decided I wanted to up sticks from here, except my armpits were less hairy, I dumped a girl and I turned to tea and Google that night for help instead.

Twenty two minutes in: I relate to Gilbert once again – could this possibly be another addition to my hall of fame for chick flicks? Gilbert asks her friend if she could name what she ate for lunch today. Her friend says she doesn’t know and Gilbert replies; “exactly!” (Or some variant). I totally ‘get’ what she’s saying here.

Twenty six minutes in: What a strumpet! She’s met a new guy – fast mover!

Thirty minutes in: Apart from the two small scenes I mentioned, I’m losing interest but trying my hardest to remain balanced in thinking.

Forty minutes in: She’s dumped new man, speaking the obscure language of “Womanese,” fobbing him off with; “I don’t know how to be here.” Crack-pot! I want a sandwich.

Forty five minutes in: She’s in Rome and the focus of the film seems to be on food! REALLY want a sandwich.

One hour in: Bored doesn’t even cover it! I’m trying, I honestly am! I’d really appreciate it if Jason Statham entered a scene and beat someone up.

One hour, five minutes in: There’s a cringe-worthy scene when an Italian guy admits to a table full of people, that he is scared his American girlfriend (sitting right next to him) may leave him one day. His insecurity makes me squirm. If there’s any time for a Statham round-house kick…it’s now.

One hour, ten minutes in: The Italians make a good point; “the Americans know entertainment, but they don’t know pleasure.” This is of course eligible to Britain, which has scaaaaarily similar negative statistics to the US when it comes to lifestyle.

One hour, twelve minutes in: She’s in India! My interest perks just for the simple fact that India is high on my list. She goes on a silence retreat (thank the Lord), taking an instant disliking to a middle-aged Texan bloke. I think she’s moody, high-maintenance and a bit annoying by this point.

One hour, seventeen minutes in: Kill me. Make it fast.

One hour, twenty five minutes in: So it turns out she gets on with the Texan guy after all and they become good friends. Predictable as Charlie Sheen in a whorehouse.

One hour, thirty minutes in: Off she leaves to Indonesia, crying because she is suddenly best friends with the guy she irrationally hated ten minutes ago. He leaves her with the sappy advice of; “Believe and love again.” I’m sick in my mouth a little.

One hour, thirty eight minutes: After a few flirty encounters with Javier Bardem and giving him incredibly mixed signals, she goes to meet an old, very likable guru who is probably the best thing about the film and adds a bit of humour and charm to it.

One hour, forty minutes: Javier Bardem blatantly has more patience than me, as Gilbert blabbers more Womanese and continues to mess with his feelings while he’s conspicuously in love with her. Her neuroticism annoys the hell out of me, but there’s some parts I relate to.

The End: I really need to watch ‘The Expendables right now.

 

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A Little Review

I think you can tell that this movie did not move me in any way and I’d give it a 3/10. It was definitely no “The Notebook,” put it that way! I’m very much alone in the minority with my view on this film and anyone with an itchy, restless soul will find some moments of comfort yet moments of nauseating, narcissistic nonsense.

I initially related to Gilbert’s character in a big way as she had a zest and passion for a better life…she was also completely confusing and tiresomely flaky. Then again, I’m not a million miles away from her story; a guy who is dissatisfied with life and is in search of meaning and world travel! Maybe I seen a bit of what I dislike about myself. Hmmm, food for thought….

P.S. All the ladies I know who’ve seen it, feel the film is far less affecting or thought-provoking than the book.

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What is your perception of the movie “Eat, Pray, Love?” Please share your thoughts below.

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54 Responses

  1. Mirella

    What a laugh! Loved the review, will you be doing more of them. Gees how I would love to know what you think of “P.S I Love You”.

    I watched Eat, Pray, Love on the plane to Europe last December. I had saved it up to watch on the plane because it was long and because it would distract me from the flying experience (flying 20 hours + stopover times is hellish for me). Even then it was too long!

    You’re not the only one who found some of those scenes of confessing insecurities cringe worthy.

    Anyway, thanks for the hilarious post :)
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    • Anthony

      Hey Mirella,
      Haha I’m loving the reaction to this! Before I pressed the ‘publish’ button, I envisaged women lovers of this film with my head on a stick! Oh don’t get me started on P.S. I frigging love you! Raaaaah, Hilary Swank!!!

      Oh you love him do you, darling? You love him so much, that you sleep with his best friend in Ireland 5 minutes after he’s dead and was nice enough to leave you love notes for when he perished!?? Why don’t you just piss on his grave, petal!? Aaaaaand you ruined the Karate Kid trilogy aaaand what’s that with Gerard Butler’s accent? It didn’t even sound Irish. Stick to “300″ mate!

      *Parachutes down from soap box*

      Poor you Mirella, having to put up with that on a plane :D (I won’t sleep now after that rant haha)

      Reply
  2. Julia

    Funny you said most girls you know prefer the book. I actually disliked the book and had to skip big chunks of it (mainly the bits in India. There’s only so much I can read about praying in an ashram and “finding God”). So I preferred the film, but it definitely wasn’t up there on my list of all-time greats. I only bought the book because so many people had raved and I thought I might be able to identify with Gilbert because we seemed to have a few things in common, yet I feel as though I’m the exact opposite of her. She seems to wallow in self pity for most of it. OK, so you’ve left your husband. But you’re getting paid to write a book about living a life of travel. Boo bloody hoo. Grow a pair woman, there are people dying in the world! LOL
    :)
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    • Anthony

      Hey Juila,
      HAHAHA @ “Grow a pair woman, there are people dying in the world! LOL” :D
      I think you deserve a Victoria Cross for getting through the book, if it was anything like that bloody film! I think you have hit the nail on the head with the self-pity thing!!! It was FULL of it!

      If I was Javier, I would have got with that hot Brazilian who flirted with him instead! He must be mental.

      Reply
  3. Jaime

    Ha great review… had me laughing the whole way through because well I thought some of the same thoughts. I also read this book and then watched the movie because I too was about to embark on a RTW trip. It’s a great story, but ha life on the road is rarely like that. I do have to admit the book is WAYYY better than the movie. I actually read the book a few times. I love how it gives more detail and a bit of more history. I would recommend watching “A Map For Saturday” if you have not already done so. Now that movie is 100% right on with a RTW life.
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    • Anthony

      Hey Jaime,
      Haha cheers mate, they were my honest true feelings at the time. I have heard theories that the book is better than the movie mate, but I just can’t bring myself to go through that ordeal again, so i will just take your word for it :D

      “A Map for Saturday” lives on my shelf, I LOVE it and may just watch it again this weekend! Happy travels

      Reply
    • Anthony

      Hey Alouise,
      Haha thank you! I need to read these other resources that have echoed my thoughts, because most that I read have really seemed to be tickled by it!

      Oh make sure you watch the Notebook, and stick up on hankies! That film could make Colonel Gaddafi weep!

      Reply
  4. Katie

    Love it – this is the first review I’ve read from a guy’s perspective and I’m not too surprised by your reaction. I personally didn’t care much for the book or the movie. Like Julia, I wasn’t big on the India parts at all. And the ending (although I know it was real life) was way too sappy and predictable. As a book/movie that was supposed to be about a woman finding herself, etc., I would’ve found it more satisfying if she had ended up alone, realizing she didn’t need a man to make her happy. Not to mention, if I recall correctly, she got the advance on the book before she took off on her trip, so the whole thing seems a bit disingenuous.

    And I was completely distracted during the movie because they chopped so much out of the book, combining characters and scenes, etc.
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    • Anthony

      Hey Katie,
      Thanks! I don’t know any other guy who has seen it, my friends aren’t so keen after my review, funnily enough :P

      I agree with you and Julia about the India part completely. She was so pretentious and needy….and a little bit mean at times for my liking! You make an excellent point, the whole “I’m so independent” war cry, that ended in her needing a guy for happiness just added to how much I disliked this film and also her character.

      Wow, I did not know that last part about the chronology of the book sale. As if you can make me dislike this film any more haha!

      Reply
  5. Runaway Brit

    Great review. I am so pleased thet I am not the only person who hated this movie. The character of Gilbert wallowed in self-pity way too much as if she was the only person to ever struggle with relationships. I have not read the book and the movie has not helped to recommend it to me!!
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    • Anthony

      Hey Runaway Brit (from one, to another)
      I am so pleased that so many people here echo my thoughts on this garbage, too! Hahaha I totally am with you on that last part, I couldn’t put myself through that again!

      Plus, I’m reading an AWESOME book right now :)

      Reply
    • Anthony

      Hey Niall,

      Haha you reckon? I could get very used to taking a part movies :P I’ll be sure to check it out, cheers!

      Reply
    • Anthony

      Hey Christine,
      Haha yes and I wouldn’t mind the food that was being shown either! Oooooh look at you, being the rebel with the outside perspective :P

      Always good to hear two sides to a story! Thanks :)

      Reply
  6. Sarah

    The thing that bugged me most was the seemingly unending wardrobe which came out of a tiny shoulder bag! Not possible lady!

    Mostly I left the cinema wanting to eat Italian food, go back to Bali and slap Julia Roberts.
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    Reply
    • Anthony

      Hey Sarah!! (In need of a serious catch up!)
      Ahahahaha! That is also an awesome review!! :) Maybe she had compression sacks?

      Reply
  7. Torre – Fearful Adventurer

    As per usual, the movie doesn’t compare to the book. But even with the book, I had to read it twice to get past the neurosis. It wasn’t until I saw a TED speech with Elizabeth Gilbert that I thought: I really like this woman, she’s warm, intelligent, insightful and honest. I re-read the book and, hearing her kind voice in my head, and I loved it.

    But the movie, oh the movie … it was tragic. The biggest problem was casting Julia Roberts. It needed to be a more ‘ordinary but lovable woman,’ someone who has a big nose or a weak chin. The whole point of the book is that a woman in her mid-30s finds love and happiness outside of marriage, kids and career. It gives women (and men too) hope that there’s something else out there apart from the standard edition ‘happily ever after’. But if you’re ‘Pretty Woman’ then how is that applicable? Of course a Hollywood A-lister can leave a relationship and find a hot new love, but what about regular people? The movie totally missed the mark with why the book was successful. The script put emphasis on all the wrong scenes, and the whole thing was a scattered mess, just eye-porn with Julia’s gigantic teeth and lots of pretty scenery.

    Many people criticize the fact that Elizabeth Gilbert got an advance, and that she’s a big self-absorbed sook. I feel like they’re missing the point. She’s sharing a very intimate story with her readers, she’s letting them into her psychology in the hope that it’ll reach others in a similar situation, and just because she got paid money to write doesn’t mean her story is any less honest.
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    • Anthony

      Hey Torre,
      Don’t apologise for a long comment! Firstly, I am forever guilty of it myself and secondly – it’s nice to have a detailed response to a post that I have taken time to write! So do you feel that Julia Roberts’ character didn’t portray, not connect with the lady who you seen at the speech? Yes she was off the face of the earth kind of neurotic and it annoyed me beyond words.

      You’re not the first girl I have heard say that the film didn’t match the book, which of course is a common occurrence. “eye porn” hahahaha :) It was extremely Hollywoody and I totally agree that the every day woman and man (I’m a lost soul too), couldn’t relate to the pie in the sky ethos that the film focused on. In a way, I’m glad that the book was better, because I would have been completely perplexed if the film was what was rocking everyone’s socks – as it was so lame and as you say, painful to watch!

      Reply
  8. Hogga

    I thought about naming my website eat, pray, beer… then crossing out the ‘pray’ on the banner and writing ‘more beer’.
    Useless fact. I didn’t hate the movie. Probably wouldn’t watch it again though. Nothing travel related can excite me as much as Departures.

    Reply
  9. Toni

    GREAT review =) Can’t read the book or watch the movie – it’s got the word ‘pray’ in it; that’s enough to bug me already haha.

    Reply
  10. Denise

    I almost threw the book out of the window, so when the movie came out let’s just say I didn’t run to the cinema.

    Reply
  11. Joseph

    Being more of a “book” person than a “movie” person, I read the book first. Loved it (made my time traveling that much better), so when the movie came out, I said I’d give it a shot. The Italian part was actually better than the book described it (and being in Italy twice I can honestly say this)…India and Indonesia….well, the nature scenes were beautiful…the end :))

    As far as chick flicks go, The notebook was good, loved the idea, but it got too lovey-dovey for me at some point, How to lose a guy in 10 days, I almost wanted to beat Kate Hudson with a stick (even though she was hot)…and PS I love you – read the book and was between laughing out loud (the other passengers on the bus were not happy) or being truly sad, then absolutely refusing to see the movie (I was told it was crap compared to the book).

    So yeah, I’m sticking to the “guy” movies – recently saw True Lies again (speaking of classics). And when you’ve had your share of “I love you, no, I love you more”, nothing beats a hardcore bloody fighting flick ;)

    Reply
    • Anthony

      Hey Joseph,

      You seem to also be a fan :P hahaha! Nooooo, leave Hudson’s dimples alone!! I’ll slightly disagree with you on the notebook, but agree wholeheartedly about the PS I BLOODY love you! Raaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!

      Haha mate, I watched a film last night when Arnie was trying to get to Mars and he found out that Sharon Stone wasn’t really his wife and that his brain was someone elses….it was shit, but like….good at the same time. Arnie has that power!!

      Reply
  12. Jo

    I’ve decided to barge into this post because I’m recently starting reading Eat, Pray, Love (I was drunk in the Kindle store…)

    I’ve actually one read the Italy section so far, but I’m not hugely engaged with it. Elizabeth Gilbert’s tone is much like I imagine mine would be if I wrote a memoir, and I’m currently planning to travel & had a recent break-up, so I should feel a lot more empathy than I actually do. I’m enjoying reading about all the sights & people Elizabeth encounters, but I have little to know feelings about her as a person which is really strange, because I usually connect really easily with people I read about (even when they’re fictional!)

    I hope this changes as the book progresses because I would enjoy the book so much more if I gave a crap about the protagonist haha.

    Reply
  13. Jeremy Foster

    Haha hilarious! I’ve avoided watching this movie for the very same reason. And every time I go to start a new movie, I skip right over Eat, Pray, Love.

    Guess I don’t need to watch it at all, now that you’ve provided the commentary! Cheers, mate!

    Reply
  14. Anna

    This was a funny post!
    The book was better, because you get into the head of the protagonist.
    But I found the film very visual, and it certainly appeals to a certain “désir d’ailleurs”, as Maffesoli would put it…

    Reply
  15. Neil Skywalker

    Great post. I had to battle myself through this movie when I watched it as research for my own movie Around the world in 80 girls. I’m not really a big fan of Julia Roberts anyway. I really don’t see the “beauty” people are raving about. I took 10 minute breaks throughout the movie which was way too long in the first place.

    Even my sister who is an avid reader and rom-com watcher hated it.
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    Reply
    • Anthony

      Hahaha that’s some pretty painful research, mate! Yeah, I think she’s the kind of “beauty” that doesn’t intimidate women, so they find it acceptable to say she looks like a Goddess. Julia Roberts isn’t the type of woman who is going to steal your man…well – unless it’s in “closer” and you’re Natalia Portman! WHO WOULD LEAVE PORTMAN FOR ROBERTS!?

      Reply
  16. Kimberley

    I watched the film first and thought it was awful, Liz was whiny. I don’t know what possessed me to read the book, but luckily I actually enjoyed that a whole heap more.

    Reply
  17. Sofie

    Lol, I haven’t read the book, nor seen the movie, but now I’m going to watch the movie just to see if I go through the same stages as you did :D

    Reply

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