Eat Is Fine, Coulda Been Better

I’ve just spoken to an exceptionally bright female industry professional who’s an Eat Pray Love-hard. She saw the big Ryan Murphy-Julia Roberts film last night at the Grove in L.A., and her basic reaction is (a) she was a wee bit disappointed that the pic didn’t tap into the spiritual and metaphysical currents that the book uncovered but (b) she wasn’t that disappointed and was more or less happy with it.

“I was sitting next to a woman who hadn’t read the book and she thought it was great,” my source says, “but if you’ve read the book, and I’m a superfan…I think it’s hard to live up to great expectations. So it was good, not great, but perfectly enjoyable.

“I totally didn’t buy the Billy Crudup-is-a-problem-husband thing…not a bit. He and Julia didn’t look like they fit together. In the book this breakup section went on a long time, and it ended with her curled up on the bathroom floor, and there’s really no question that she has to leave this guy. But they don’t explain it much in the film. In the movie she’s lying in bed next to Crudup and saying ‘I don’t want to be married.’ He’s kind of a wanderer, and seems to be in love with her. He’s said he doesn’t want to go to Arruba, but that’s no reason to get divorced! She’s doing okay and has a book deal so what’s her problem? She’s like some some whiny chick.

“The Italy section was fine, the India section is fine, the Bali section is fine. The Richard Jenkins character was very prominent in the book and he’s very good here. The Javier Bardem character, whom she got married to in real life, is great. The James Franco character is good and believable. It matched what I remember from the book, which I read twice.

“The bottom line is, when you have a book that has resonated so much with readers on a spiritual basis, its very hard to translate that into a film. I know in order to reach a movie audience, you have to sacrifice the in-depth spiritual metaphysical stuff because that doesn’t translate well in [filmic] terms. But in the book, I underlined passages. It’s a very enjoyable movie, but I didn’t cry once. Reading the book, I was sobbing.”

  • Rich S.

    Like I said in a post yesterday, they should have filmed it in 3D. Seriously. All that scenery and food. Could have tapped into a whole new market.

  • DeeZee

    So it’s basically average, but she’ll pretend to like it anyway?

  • George Prager

    Should’ve been done in Smell-O-Vision.

    The man version:


    The Latino version:


    The Black version:


    The French version:


    The Irish version:


    The Jewish version:


  • televisiontears

    Never trust anybody who calls themselves a superfan of Eat, Pray, Love. About anything.

  • Sams

    Sobbing? She must really be the Twi-hard equivalent for Eat Pray Love. I was more optimistic after bobbyperu’s review. This one slipd it back into the “maybe” category.

  • Sams

    David Poland’s Review is up. He ends it with “I was, mostly, frustrated.”

  • Mark

    The trailer alludes to this truth that they filmed Eat, Love, and maybe some cursory Prayer.

    Women I know who’ve read it, all mention the spiritual parts first. (They all love it, btw.) But what movie has really nailed spirituality? Wings of Desire? Days of Heaven? Shit be difficult, for real.

  • actionman

    The Jewish version:


    Holy shit, Prager. I just laughed my ass-off.

  • George Prager

    Wells is turning into Charlie Brown with EAT, PRAY, LOVE as the scrawny Christmas tree.

  • clockwork taxi

    Gibson NAILED spirituality pretty good with the passion.

  • the400blows

    I didn’t realize this bright, female, industry professional made so many spelling errors when she spoke.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Best alternate title I’ve heard:

    “Masticate, Meditate, Masturbate”

  • CitizenKanedForPostingThoughts

    ^Hah…I think if that was the actual title, I would probably have to check it out.

    Okay, not really, but that’s still amusing.

  • Noah Cross

    Well, the Spambots seem to love the film. On the other hand, Lisa Schwarzbaum at EW gives EPL a C+.

  • Princess of Peace

    A lot of the women I know who are going to see the film don’t read the online reviews and certainly don’t care about them.

  • Mark

    “Gibson NAILED spirituality pretty good with the passion.”

    HA! took me a minute. i thought for a second that someone on HE was actually defending POTC.

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  • todd

    Makes me wanna eat while watching this movie in theaters.


  • Cheap Sunglasses 2011

    Life is a flower of which love is the honey.