I must be the only american female who didn't enjoy the book Eat, Pray, Love. To be fair, I didn't finish it. I read through Italy and India and about 2 pages into Indonesia I gave up. I didn't know this was a "personal growth" story; I thought it was a travel story. Needless to say I was very disappointed in the India portion since I am in love with the place, spent time there, and desperately can't wait to go back. Spending your entire time in an Ashram in India does not seem to me a good picture of what India is.
I went to see the movie for a couple of reasons: (1) because one of the reasons I disliked the book was it just dragged on, I hoped the transition to film would help speed things up, (2) because I was now fully prepared that this was a "personal growth" story, and (3) because I love Julia Roberts. So, I rode my (new, red) bike along the pier to downtown newport and went to the local movie theatre. This movie theatre was converted from an old opera house and the main theatre is amazing -- Dan and I saw inception there and I was itching for a chance to go back. I decided I wouldn't make Dan go see this one (mostly because I want him to see The Kids Are Alright with me and I was scared Eat, Pray, Love might jeopardize my movie-picking abilities in his eyes). Boy, was I glad I didn't drag him along.
To quote a dear friend "Yeah. It was pretty. The food looked awesome. Julia was good...but...meh." My thoughts exactly (one of the reasons that friend is a dear friend). It made me want to go back to Italy for pizza. Right then. I didn't need to finish the movie. I just needed to eat
a whole thin crusted pizza by myself -- yes, i did that a few times while in Italy. But the one scene that really spoke to me? It was a split second long. Julia had just arrived in India, she pulled up to the Ashram and is headed in to meditate with the other followers of this particular guru. However, neither Julia nor the Ashram caught my attention. It was the man who welcomed her and showed her in and ran before her to find her a mat to sit on and a place to sit. You never see that man again, but he almost made me cry. I miss those people. Those people were so eager to help and show and welcome. I also enjoyed the scenes between Julia and the young indian girl. My heart broke, as it has before, as I listened to this girl's dreams and hopes for her future. There were so many young women and girls I met while in India and I wanted nothing more than to give them the chance to do whatever they dreamed of. For some of them that would be marriage, for others learning English, or going to University.
I love India. It's so colorful and exciting and loud and smelly. It's amazing. I just don't think Eat, Pray, Love did it justice, whether in book or film. There's just more to it than that.