I saw Eat, Pray, Love two days ago by myself, in a theater 3/4 filled with women only – and from the conversations I overheard around me as we left the theater – I seem to be the only woman who read the book and likes the movie better!
To me, in the book, Elizabeth irritated me so constantly – she seemed literally whiny, small-minded, wrong-focused and narcissistic. I felt constantly surprised at the kind and nice things she did in the book – because I got a fix on her character in a negative way. (And I know Elizabeth Gilbert herself is a lovely woman…)
For me – Julia Roberts gave the character a compassionate, lovely nature. Julia as Elizabeth seemed to want the journey so she could start feeling love and be a better woman – the woman she wanted to be, a feeling, compassionate, emotionally connected, open person.
This came across for me viscerally, watching her. Seeing her go from a self-involved, cranky, closed person when she arrives in India to the lovely, compassionate, open person she becomes by the end of that leg of her trip – I really felt it.
The friends she makes in Italy felt genuine and warm to me…I just plain LIKED Elizabeth in Julia’s hands. I cared.
And…yes…Javier Bardem can do no wrong.
Everything Elizabeth discovers and goes through can be considered trite and “done before” and “sound bitey” – the friends, the confessions, the floor washing, the elephant…but I was moved. That stuff is REAL!!!
I could feel it, because if you go to India, or take that inner journey HERE – in your town, your living room, your friends’ homes, your streets and bars and meditation centers and shopping malls – you will experience those things!
It’s not made-up Hollywood movie stuff. It’s real.
Yes, we didn’t see everything that was in the book, we didn’t see everything that’s real – scenes and moments were selected – but I didn’t care. It was beautiful and affecting and engrossing…and I cared about everyone I was watching.
I WAY liked James Franco and Billy Crudup and Richard Jenkins and Javier Bardem – I could FEEL them. In the book – I only saw them from Elizabeth’s perspective – it was harder to imagine them as fully fleshed, and how those relationships felt.
So – what’s to learn from the movie (even if you hated it because you loved the book and don’t think the movie did the book justice)?
How about this:
That’s Number 1 for me. We’re all working so hard, trying so hard, trying to push away our deeper feelings – actually trying to push away love for ourselves and everyone and everything else. Working to survive, instead of to experience and live. Just sit or lay down and do nothing productive.
See how it feels. See if you can experience pleasure in nothing.
Then – how about this:
Forget about forgiving anyone else. Anyone who hurt you or raised you painfully or rejected you or did or is doing a hurtful thing to someone else. Just focus on forgiving you.
And then this one:
Sit down. Smile with your heart. Smile with your liver.
Everyone you meet on your journey is your teacher…
Try these (and way more in the book and movie) – and let me know if you feel as inspired as I do…