Julia Roberts' Liz Gilbert can be both radiant and witty, a woman who doesn't doubt her womanliness, but she does suffer uncertainty, ambivalence and real anguish during the film. The end of her marriage — to a kind, weak-willed oddball played by Billy Crudup — is wrenching and I felt, poorly explained. Her rebound relationship with a soulful younger actor (James Franco), only exacerbates the sense that Liz is drifting away from her centre.
What “Eat Pray Love” has — what the superficial “Sex and the City 2” (read my review here) notably lacked — is authenticity. Whether you like Liz or not, and whether you approve of her choices and the expectations she has set for herself, it is hard not to be impressed by her honesty.
I guess it is a fantasy for many women to think they might embark on a year abroad to taste what another life might offer, but I felt this film was totally refreshing and believable (as it should be, based on a memoir.)
I was thoroughly entertained and challenged to look at life in a new way.
Naturally, so many of you are thinking - but how does it shape up to the book? I was given the book as a gift, but refused to read it before I saw the film. My experience is that all films suck if you read the book first, so now I must go and read it...I hope I'm not disappointed...