Feature

Eat Pray Love

Julia Roberts plays Elizabeth Gilbert in this faithful adaptation of Gilbert’s 2006 best-selling memoir of the year she spent traveling and soul-searching in Italy, India, and Indonesia.

Directed by Ryan Murphy(PG-13)

***

If you haven’t taken a vacation yet this summer, Eat Pray Love is a “satisfactory substitute,” said Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News. In this faithful rendering of Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 best-selling travel memoir, Julia Roberts plays Liz, a divorcee who takes a year off to find herself. Traveling only to countries starting with the letter “I,” she eats her fill in Italy, prays at an ashram in India, and finds love on Indonesia’s beaches. Showing a woman more in search of self-acceptance than romance, director Ryan Murphy and his co-writer Jennifer Salt “capture the heart of Gilbert’s book.” But they leave out its soul, said Tasha Robinson in the A.V. Club. Murphy never explores Liz’s initial angst, only hinting at it through “darkly lit rooms, rainstorms, and aggrieved narration.” Then, once she’s in Italy, it’s all sunshine and smiles. The story’s sweep creates “a certain superficiality,” said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. Yet Eat Pray Love, though hardly a transporting cinematic experience, does prove an “easygoing and generous blend of wish fulfillment, vicarious luxury, wry humor, and spiritual uplift.”

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