There’s More To Come, Right?

There’s More To Come, Right?

Static Mass Rating: 2/5
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release date: February 7th 2011
Certificate (UK): 15
Running time: 140 minutes

Director: Ryan Murphy

Cast: Julia Roberts, James Franco, Javier Bardem, Billy Crudup

In 2001 I was so sick of it all. Relationship debris was piling up on the highway of my life and my so-called career in the design industry during the internet boom was failing to take off. More than that, I was desperate to get out of the town I grew up in. Frustrated, I flipped a coin and ended up in Germany. It was either there or Italy so I let fate decide and I spent the next two years working in a school and visiting some 25 cities in Europe.

Eat Pray Love

I wonder if New York writer Elizabeth Gilbert felt something similar. After her marriage ended she chose to visit some of the places she had been yearning to see. Unlike me, she had a publisher’s advance to finance the year she spent in Italy, India, and Indonesia.

Liz’s book was published in 2006 and became a bestseller which got turned into a movie starring Julia Roberts in the role of Liz. It’s beautifully shot with sumptuous scenery and mouth watering close-ups of food. On the surface there’s something warm, delightful and inviting about Eat Pray Love, but to any discerning traveller it’s a load of baloney!

Eat Pray Love

As a screenplay it fails to establish motivation early on to help us understand its main character. At a party hosted by friends, Liz glares at her husband Stephen (Billy Crudup) as he struggles to hold a baby. Later she glares at him some more when he talks about wanting to get his Masters degree. Finally she can’t take it anymore and leaves him, initiating a divorce despite his pleas and “I choose you!” speech. Before the divorce is through she’s sleeping with young and hunky David (James Franco) and then sobbing on his floor “I don’t know how to be here”.

Eat Pray Love

Liz must have been inspired by Carrie Bradshaw, that other indecisive New York writer, because despite Roberts’ ability to make a scene look good, I couldn’t help but laugh at the self indulgence the movie shares with Sex And The City (2008) or even that other why-can’t-I-find-a-man movie, Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001).

Where’s the drama, the conflict, the emotional turmoil and events which force people into change? Where’s that moment where you nearly die from innertia, medication or vodka and realise how selfish and stupid you’ve been your whole life? It all comes a little too easy and if it really happened that way, then Liz is one of the lucky few, but I just don’t buy it. The pocket-book philosophy reads more like a newspaper horoscope; a trip to the local library to look up the Upanishads or teachings of Confucius might have saved the locals’ lives from being trivialised and exploited on screen but that would be my story not Liz’s, Carrie’s or Bridget’s.

From my own travels I remember sleeping on shaky scaffolding after forgetting to book a hotel, food poisoning from rotten food, near death from martini consumption and how close to my Maker I felt when speed-cycling down a mountain with no brakes. Eat Pray Love omits any such misadventures which in my book are mandatory for any journey of self discovery.


  • Director’s Cut
  • Ryan Murphy’s Journey with Eat Pray Love
  • The Beginning of the Journey
  • Praying in India
  • Finding Balance

When I came back to London, I knew the time I spent away had changed me and given me something I never imagined possible. I can’t say the same for this movie though. Are we given any insight in how Liz’s journey will help her once she returns home? No. Perhaps this movie is not aimed at me, but to those who won’t think much about it afterwards and be satisfied with the entrée it serves because a few hours later I’m still waiting for the main course to arrive.

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