My Mom Reviews Eat Pray Love: "A Waste Of Time"

Illustration for article titled My Mom Reviews emEat Pray Love/em: A Waste Of Time

Saturday morning, my mom went to see Eat Pray Love. Her review? "I thought it was horrible." What follows is a total evisceration, in her own words.

Who was in the audience?
There were lots of women — a lot of women were running by themselves, basically, and some were with friends, but I was in a row with nothing but men who fell asleep. Older men. When she was in Italy, this man started snoring.

Did you enjoy it?
I thought it was a horrible movie. I thought it was slow, but not like Crazy Heart or Secretary or An Education, where it's slow because, you know, it's good! And you're getting into it! It was just very very slow and, to me, she wasn't even having a good time.

What was the problem?
I just think that she was a very unhappy person. And they show all these men, but the person that she was unhappy with, and she never got into why, was herself. I don't think anything was wrong with anybody, it was just that she was looking for something — it's like she was looking for herself, and I think she's probably still messed up in the head. I don't mean Julia Roberts. I mean Elizabeth Gilbert.

You didn't like the scenes it Italy?
The problem is, I went on a food and wine tour of Italy. And it was so much more fun and so much more interesting. And I was like, who is this person? If you're gonna do Italy, you know, you plan ahead! You have fun! She spent the whole time in Rome, and then she went to Naples. That's not… to be in Italy, and to undoubtedly have a wee bit of money, she didn't plan it well. She didn't go to Sicily, or Assisi, or Venice, or Florence, or Milan. How boring can you be? It's like, hey, you're in Italy. She wasn't making the best of it. When I went on my trip, of eating Italy, we went to people's houses, we were interacting, it was fun! That Thanksgiving dinner… You don't want to know the truth. It was sort of ridiculous. I was like, did I pay money to see this? And I only paid $6, because I went before noon. It was so contrived.


What about India?
When she was in India, that was very difficult for me. She gets in the car — and you know that there are flies everywhere, and the poverty in India is horrid. To go and try and find yourself on an ashram? The best way to find yourself in someplace like India is to GIVE of yourself, you know? I think she is just so self-absorbed that she can't give of herself. She is such a user and a taker. If you have a year and you want to see the world, and you're not going to do it in luxury… You don't go to third world nations to find yourself. Unless you're learning yoga, or volunteering, or really into it. She wasn't really into it. It was her boyfriend's dream. She had no dreams of her own! Who is this woman, with no real dreams of her own? Me, I have only been to India once, and at the time they were picking up the dead off the streets once a week. This was the 70s. Personally, I think it would be depressing if you didn't give of yourself.

And Bali?
That little guy [Ketut] was so contrived. I had to wonder, what type of travel writer is she? I'm serious. She didn't even have any spirit. [Someone you don't know] goes on these travel trips all the time, with this travel writer, and they're wonderful! And the woman writes for Parade magazine. It's not LUXURY travel! But it's just — the stories — it's just much more interesting.

What about Javier Bardem?
He was the only thing that was worth seeing the movie for. If he hadn't come on — I mean, when he came on, we all woke up. I mean, I wasn't asleep, but I was just waiting for him. Waiting. The whole time. And it was worth the wait. I also thought it was really cute when she picked up this guy who was really young and showed her his body by the water. That was believable. But to me, Julia must have been desperate to play that role. Without her in it, there would be no movie. But Javier. He is hot. He is so hot. Who is he married to?
Penelope Cruz.
Oh. Right. They deserve each other. So hot.

Do you know that Elizabeth Gilbert and the guy are still together? I mean, he's not Javier Bardem, he's some guy.
Well I am happy they're still together. I am. I am. But I know people who have taken time to find themselves in Italy or France and their travels are just so much more interesting. And when I was in Turkey, there was this girl who was traveling the world by herself. It's not that unique. I bought that girl a meal. I admired the girl. But there are people doing it all the time. And I think other people are more culturally in touch. I think Elizabeth whoever she is is a wee bit shallow.


It would be like you going to New Orleans, Haiti and Pakistan, and trying to tell me that you were trying to find yourself. It doesn't make sense! How can you not be concerned about others? She needs to give of herself.

If you were going to change the title from Eat Pray Love, what would you call it? Lame, lame, lame? I would call it Desperate Woman. She is just lost, because she can't be honest with herself. And she just messes up people's lives. This is me psychoanalyzing her, but I think an analyst would say the same. She's just selfish. Self-centered. It's all about her.


Anyway. All of these people are talking about this is the best movie ever and I'm like what the hell are they talking about? I thought it was a waste of time. But Javier, I love him.

Earlier: Project Runway, As Recapped By My Mom

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I haven't read EPL and it's not my type of book but I see no reason why the book or movie should be trashed for being a rich person's self discovery trip (for the record I am not white or American). So many travelogues are little else that you have to wonder if the XX chromosome instantly makes it all seem trivial and narcissistic-just a convenient handle for dumping prejudices about white women. Also sad that everyone is going on about Felipe/Bardem - from what I have read the book is not principally about romance but here's the film reduced to just a romantic story.