Last Saturday, my roomie and I ventured off to the cinema to see Eat Pray Love. Both of us really, really enjoyed it. I mean, we enjoyed it more than I can really find the words to say. We were both so moved and amazed---it inspired such a great conversation on the drive home and when we sat down in our apartment. Here are the top 10 reasons I enjoyed Eat Pray Love:
1. James Franco. To be utterly honest, I must admit that James Franco is pretty much the sole purpose I went to this movie. I know nothing about the book. I know nothing about the author. I really knew nothing about the movie except that Mr. Franco was in it. I openly confess that James Franco makes me swoon. And swoon is exactly what I did as soon as he appeared on screen. I covet Julia Roberts for her moments in bed with my celebrity crush! :P
2. Italy. I've always been captivated by Italy and a whole fourth of this movie was bursting with everything Italian---the sensual language, awe-inspiring architecture, fascinating history, delicious food, romantic men, and one of my favorite concepts: "the art of doing nothing." How I would sooo love to roam those winding Italian streets and admire everything around me. How I would love to stuff my face with spaghetti and bread day in and out. How I would love to see the Colosseum, Italian vistas, and handsome Italian men. (Though never as handsome as #1, of course!)
3. Beauty and body image. When Liz (Julia Roberts' character) and her friend Sofi are in Naples for pizza, Liz scarfs hers down while Sofi stares longingly at her own. Sofi talks about how she has gained ten pounds and a "muffin top" since she has been in Italy. And Liz replies with some of the wisest words... I could not find the actual quote, but it goes something to the affect of this: *Has a man ever left the room when you've taken your clothes off? Has he ever just taken off as soon as he saw you naked? No, because he's just happy to be in the room with a naked woman.* (I swear I'll find the real quote asap!) But it's the idea that is important. Women can stress so much over five or ten pounds to the point that we don't feel beautiful if we're not under a certain weight. But when it comes down to it, if we love ourselves and love our beauty a man who loves us will love us for that, too.
4. Self indulgence. Not just with the carbs, but one of my favorite parts of the movie is when Liz purchases a beautiful silken nightie at a clothing boutique in Italy. She doesn't buy it to get all "sexed up" for some man in her life. She buys it for herself. She goes back to her little hotel room, puts on the silky number, sits down on the floor with some food and wine, and takes part in the Italian "art of doing nothing." As Americans we tend to go go go and only take a break when someone tells us to. Or some people do the opposite and be lazy all of the time. But this moment emphasizes the importance of taking a break when you need one. I'm personally a big fan of putting on a comfy little nightgown and lounging around my room looking and feeling beautiful but doing absolutely nothing. You should try it sometime. :)
5. Eating and not feeling guilty. This one kind of ties into #'s 3 and 4. In the movie, Liz rediscovers her passion for food and the taste of food after years of just eating to get by. She has a "relationship" with her spaghetti and I absolutely love the scenes where she's just sitting by herself in Italy chowing down on pasta, bread, wine, and desserts. Eating and enjoying food does not make a person fat or unhealthy or whatnot. It's part of tasting every bit of life. You only live once and I'm not going to deprive myself of a plate of carb-loaded pasta just because I'm scared of not being stick-thin.
6. Julia Roberts. This surprised me. I'm normally not a big Julia Roberts fan. I kinda go back and forth with her---she either interests me or annoys me. But in this movie she definitely captivated me. She was so beautiful and so easy to relate to. This movie has turned me into a fan.
7. All of the other characters, their relationships, and their stories. While movie focused on its main character Liz, I loved that it explored the lives and histories of the people she encountered: her friends in Italy, Richard from Texas (who cracked me up, btw!), the young and beautiful Madhu, and, of course, Felipe. I just loved the glimpses into the other character's souls and how they impacted Liz and how she impacted them in return.
8. India and Bali. While Italy was my favorite, I still found the scenery of India and Bali to be incredible. But what was most interesting was how different the three places were. The shock of going from leisurely Italy and chaotic India was jolting. And then Bali had an atmosphere of its own as well.
9. Eat Pray Love was simultaneously an escape and a deep look inward. It was so captivating and engrossing that I felt like I was really there in Italy and India and Bali. At the same time, the emotional struggles for happiness was so easy to connect to and the pursuit of happiness in life was so easy to relate to that I found myself looking into a mirror. I live a completely different life from Liz, but in her I saw myself, my passions, my loves, my heartaches, my struggles, and my moments of feeling lost in life.
10. The movie was moving and inspiring! It's the first movie in a very long time that has touched my heart in this kind of way. I wept a lot during the movie (which isn't unusual for me) but it wasn't for one reason. I cried because I was happy, or because I was touched. Because I understood heartbreak. Because I understood feeling lost. And even because Italy was just that achingly beautiful that I was moved to tears. I definitely want to read the book now. And I'm definitely going to focus more on my life when it comes to eating, praying, loving, enjoying life, and finding my way.
I definitely recommend this movie for a girls' night out or even by yourself! I'm resisting the urge to go see it again and I can't wait for it to come out on dvd. :)