Saturday, August 14, 2010

Eat, Pray, Losing my Patience

Today's the day! No, it is not just Friday the 13th. It is not the day after my legitimate website launched.

It is not the day before Son of Snarkshelf returns from camp.

The most important thing about today is that "Eat, Pray, Love" opened in movie theaters.

If you are are a reader of this blog, you have heard before about my dislike of Elizabeth Gilbert and her superdupermegagiagito bestseller book about how she whined and whined and went on a trip around the world. The book made a gabillion dollars, because practically every woman I know and especially Oprah thought it was just the best, most empowering tome since "The Feminine Mystique."

I beg to differ, Liz. In case you missed my first rant, read it here. OK, do come at this from a place of writer's jealousy too. You understand.

So you can imagine how anxiously I have been awaiting this tale of selfcentradry on the bigscreen! Starring Julia Roberts, too. She is an actress with whom I have a like/dislike relationship. Mostly dislike, but I am a fan of the shopping scene in "Pretty Woman."

Anyhow, the movie was slightly better than the book, because it contained pretty, pretty pictures: of pasta, of pizza and of James Franco and Javier Bardem. Otherwise it was nearly as insipid as the book.

To recap:
Liz is married to a perfectly nice guy played by Billy Crudup (star of one of my all-time faves, "Almost Famous"). Best I can tell is she never loved him, even though the worst thing he does is tell her he does want want to go on a writing assignment in Aruba with her, and he might want to go to grad school. Bastard!

So Liz gets down on the bathmat at prays to God, with whom she has a non-relationship, to ask for guidance.
Um, Liz, sweetie. I know I am a Jew and all and our God is probably from a different neighborhood, but I am thinking he does not work like Santa. You can't just go up to him one day and ask for a pony and an Easy-Bake oven.

Liz gets a nasty divorce and...and then moves in with yoga teacher/starving actor James Franco. She doesn't like him that much either and spends more time crying on the floor. Even her BFF with a baby and a place in Soho is sick of her by now.

So am I, but we're only 20 minutes in.

"The only thing more impossible than leaving was staying," says Liz.

Liz is really just sick of herself! So she takes herself to Italy.

"I used to have an appetite for life. It's gone. Since I was 15, I've either been with a guy or breaking up with a guy."
Yeah, what's the problem with that?

Now it's time for Italy porn! Olive oil drizzling on asparagus, gelato in the piazza, really good pizza. In this Italy, no one smokes. It must actually be the Italy pavilion at Epcot Center.

Liz is going crazy. Her jeans don't even fit because she has consumed so much gnocchi - and she doesn't care. How unAmerican. (and in case you didn't get the metaphor, cue the obvious music: "Thank You Fallentinme Be Myself" by Sly and the Family Stone).

Liz sees a fugly nightie in a boutique and looks at it longingly. "Some day....some day I will actually have sex on the floor rather than avoiding my cute boyfriend by sobbing there."

I think the nightie stayed in the store because Liz had no more suitcase space. Seriously, she traveled for a year and does not wear the same outfit twice. How many pairs of cute sandals and floaty skirts did you fit into your backpack, Liz? I am thinking there was not a dry cleaner handy in India, either.

On to India, where there is no need for that silk nightie because our heroine will be staying up all night chanting and meditating and scrubbing the floor of the ashram. Whatever. Also, Richard Jenkins is there to psychologically kick her ass (you go, Richard Jenkins) for being such a dolt.

This is not the Canyon Ranch. They eat with their hands at the Ashram. There are bugs the size of my Prius. And our Liz can't clear her mind during yoga (been there, making my shopping list right through shavasana. Then again, I am not very relaxed).

She is still not happy.
Oh boo hoo. Go cry into your big bestseller profit bag of money.

"I miss my boyfriend," she whines to Richard Jenkins, who fights the urge to throw her on the Calcutta funeral pyre.

Neil Young plays. Then it is off to Bali. Liz is still not getting laid.

This is where Javier Bardem practically runs her over in his jeep (Back up, Javier. Back up now!). He is divorced and kind of depressed too. But really cute, and Miss Liz is - despite the pizza di Napoli and the chanting - is still afraid to love.

"I do not need to love you to prove I love myself!!" she says to Javier, in their big dramatic fight (by the way, Julia Roberts looks fab - but the Botox has stapled her forehead straight up, so she would look mad if she could. But she can't).

Meanwhile, I am texting my husband and telling him to meet me after this finally - finally - ends for some tagatelle at Il Fornario.

But wait. Maybe she does love Javier Bardem. I know I do.

She jumps on his boat and they literally ride into the sunset.

Maybe I can have gelato for dessert too.

Moral of the story: Wherever you go, there you are. Meaning if you are a miserable twit, you are going to be one whether you are on your bathmat in Soho, in your garret in Rome or annoying people at the Ashram.

Now pass me the prosecco, I need to learn how to love again too.


  1. That was a hilariously awesome review! Now I might just have to go see it after all so that I can laugh at it too! I could not bring myself to read the book for all of the reasons you describe.

  2. Great review! Of course I have neither seen the movie or read the book....but, I do like Javier Bardem!

  3. Wife (on the phone): Do you mind if I go to EPL with [my friend]? She wants to see it too. I know we're supposed to see it together, so I can tell her no.

    Me: Go ahead and see it with her. I feel really tired and don't want to site in a theater tonight.

    Me (after hanging up): YESSSSSS! I don't have to see that chick flick!

    When she came home, my wife's review was "It should have been a made-for-TV movie on Lifetime."

  4. wickedly true! though i read the book and liked it..but i didn't catch the moral of the story, until i read your review :)

  5. Read the book. Loved (and wanted to live the "Eat" part - after she got to Italy, of course). HATEDHATEDHATED the "Pray" and "Love" parts. So boring.