Eat, Pray, Love… again? Why?!

For PACman


EAT PRAY LOVE: Movie Poster.

I saw ‘Eat Pray Love’ on the plane, and now it’s just coming back to me (having blocked it out) how EXCRUCIATINGLY TERRIBLE it was. Pretentiously pretending to be outside-the-box but wholly preoccupied with NEEDING A RELATIONSHIP WITH A MAN.
And “losing your balance for love is part of leading a balanced life” – wtf is that? Undo the entire premise of the entire film? She should have just stayed with the first one and not wasted so much time and money, instead she ignored THE TRAVEL and the connections she made!

And the superficial story itself was stupid, meandering here and there and she never finds a purpose or a balance, she’s the same relationshippy-preoccupied person just a little scareder… so, like, I was never sure what the travel was meant to achieve… was she meant to come back home refreshed, or run away with some other guy and repeat the same relationship mistakes? And it is a mistake. Because she refused to listen to her heart (which was hesitant) AGAIN, runs off because someone else suggests she might be wrong, and just jumps into his arms and lets him take her to some deserted island to, erm, have his wicked way literally without any escape route. Silly woman.


I have the book here. I may read it. It BETTER be better than the film, and then I shall blame Hollywood and Julia Roberts, and take heart that Oprah promoted a book that actually has a decent message, moral, or hey, I’d be happy with a decent STORY. Or else… I wonder what anyone sees in Eat Pray Love.


Served up: fresh slice of the leek. If my rant has offended, think but this and all is mended – this was intended for a Facebook wall post. Yep, that excuses a lot, doesn’t it. :)


6 thoughts on “Eat, Pray, Love… again? Why?!

  1. The ‘threat to public decency’ that Eat Pray Love pretends to show is a woman who is a fully-realized, public person. In France before the revolution, the public consisted of Louis XVI; after the fall of the Old Regime, the public consisted of all free men. This has been the case, to some degree or another, ever since. Paterfamilias is the public representative of the family, women are domestic, and rely on men to be their voice. It’s not entirely as straightforward and black&white as that, it never has been, but it’s the unwritten assumption that a woman needs a man (or another woman). And it’s bullshit.
    You’ll never get that in a story about a man. You’ll have men fighting for the woman they love, or getting the girl, but it’s never outright about finding somebody, anybody. There’s never this thrust or impression that a man needs to find a woman, that he is incomplete or defective without one.
    And the idea that a woman is incomplete or defective without a man was a recurring motif throughout the entire film. It was positioned conspicuously as old-fashioned, and yet the ending vindicated it, in the way your stupid relatives say you’ll find someone and settle down and raise a family and give up this nonsense about independence and a life of meaningful experiences, and as soon as you so much as look at a potential romantic liaison, they’ll smugly nod and cluck to themselves that it’s inevitable. And that’s what the rehabilitative ending does, it vindicates all the old fashioned traditional Italian matrons, walking stereotypes, in their professing shock that Julia Roberts’ character is divorced or not currently married.
    It does so with brief moment of cultural contempt for arranged marriage in India (look at the poor, backward savages, such a horrible practice… we’re so much more civilized here with our drunk, rash decisions in Reno, the sanctity of Britney and K-Fed is a testament to superior Western culture!), but that shock and contempt, and the obvious misery of the young (criminally hawt… I have a thing for nerdy girls with glasses, it can’t be helped >.<) bride-to-be, are made right by the miracle of fuckin’ matrimony!

    I was going to save this for my review, but I’m previewing it here, because you’ve got me started.
    Julia Roberts leaves her first husband because he fails to fulfill the traditional role of paterfamilias. He’s not the breadwinner, he’s not a salary-man. He pursues goals passionately, and moves on frequently to new pursuits.
    She throws herself into a poorly-judged fling with a talentless actor, adopts his spirituality, and he seems to exist purely as a prop for the continuation of the story.
    She overcomes body-image issues in Italy… apparently. Seriously, fuck hollywood.
    She gains insight and wisdom through the advice of yet another man, rather than the woman guru she was seeking.
    Bah, I can’t do this. It’s too much to break down when I desperately need sleep, and I should’ve been responding to you this whole time… sorry

    I’ll respond further during the daylight hours
    Ka kite

  2. If it’s any indication, when I finally find a spare hour or three to build up the Dutch courageintellectual fortitude required to write about this film without haemorrhaging from a fit of apoplectic rage, I’ll title my essay Eat. Pray-Love: Or how I learned to stop progressing and Know My Role.

    It’s good to see the Rehabilitative Ending is still alive and well in hollywood, where the film can show you something that threatens Public Decency so long as the lead learns how to stop kicking up a fuss and accept the status quo, or at the very least gets their comeuppance like they should.
    It really is a horrific movie, intent on instilling and reinforcing damaging subconscious assumptions about life in the people (especially women) who watch it. After watching it I can only be struck by the fact that for all the talk of a male-imposed hegemony of male-dominance, the people who have the greatest and subtlest influence on us are our peers, and in sexism this is every bit as true… every time I think of this, it’s impossible to get Radiohead out of my head, because just like George Michael, you do it to yourself.
    Sure a lot of male fantasies have the guy getting the girl and objectifying women, but there aren’t a lot of women that are going to go watch some stupid male-oriented action flick or something, a-la The Expendables. But there’s very few men who will willingly watch a Chick Flick for their own personal entertainment, these films exist because there’s enough women to comprise a viable market for them. And the one universal element in all of them is the attempt to find a man. Ugh.

    And that’s all Eat Pray Love is.
    Go to Italy, learn from a bunch of walking cliches with names like LUCA FUCKIN’ SPAGHETTI how to relax and enjoy life. Go to India because your ex-boyfriend converted you to Hinduism so you can learn spiritual enlightenment and how to let go from a deadbeat alcoholic Texan man, go to Bali and learn wisdom from a geriatric man with alzheimers. And when she’s finally let go of her expectations, she can fulfill her role in life by settling down with a man and fixing his broken heart after a marriage failed.

    Okay, I really need to stop typing, this is YOUR blog, not mine =P

    • The first line of your comment is brilliant.

      So. If ‘Public Decency’ means women not needing a man (seeing as she, as an individual, IS quite happy without one in this film, and not sure about this new one), then yes. But in my mind a threat to ‘Public Decency’ suggests indecent exposure… in which case, I don’t think the Hollywood film industry in general would object as much.
      Your mention of horrific movies parallels the case of Gothic and horror films, where women are pretty and passive, or unlikeably aggressive. (Kanye’s video…anyone?).
      But I often do wonder whether Hollywood is enjoying itself, making FICTIONAL, UNREALISTIC rubbish, and giving school kids ready-made, too-easy tropes and paradigms. Hollywood isn’t evil, it’s just selling stories, and is very good at it.
      What worries me is, as you say, is WHY this is successful. Because women, real women, are identifying with this escape-to-travel adventuring soul who can’t get away from the clutches of a man, who can’t exist without constantly pondering her romantic relationships? Argh.
      Chick flicks focus on how the woman’s life is complete as soon as she gets a man to say those golden three words. And, like in Eat Pray Love, there must be something wrong with her if she isn’t happy with that. Often, the typical chick in these flicks chooses the man just because *he* is in love with *her*. And that’s enough? THAT’S NOT ENOUGH.
      And maybe, just maybe, men, real men like you, don’t like chick flicks because you’d rather that a girlfriend liked you for you. Not because she had been calculating and plotting and obsessing since she was 7 about how to find, attract, and keep, a man (any man) who loves her.
      And that’s what drove me crazy about Eat Pray Love. It ALMOST had a premise where a woman doesn’t need a man, a woman needs to get away if a relationships isn’t right… and… and… and… then it collapsed.
      I like your plot summary. Whatever is on the back of the DVD can’t be as funny, true and honest as that.

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