Have you seen this?  It's a rare thing for me to go see a movie before I've read the book, but when I first saw this book be published, I felt an odd reticence about me as I toyed with the idea of reading it.  It didn't strike me as being 'my thing,' and I felt vaguely repelled by it.   I'm still not sure what informed my intuition at that time - or even if I trust my intuition all that much - but as I watched the movie (alongside some varied, excellent and lovely female companionship, which definitely redeemed the experience for me), I realized anew that this just wasn't my thing. 

I've never been a huge Julia Roberts fan, though I can stomach her, a claim to fame my husband can't confidently make for himself.  For me, the actress and my level of enchantment with her wasn't the problem.  I think that the main character's - Elizabeth Gilbert's - journey to 'find herself' seemed futile and empty.  My mother-in-law always used to say, "wherever you go, there you are," and I believe it to be true.  I think that real enlightenment comes not from running away from life and it's accompanying problems, even in the name of mind expanding exotic travel, but from facing them and deriving strength from slowly growing courage borne of that act of standing up, shoulders back, staring them down and realizing that even this may not 'solve' anything, but that maybe that's ok.  Strength can sometimes come by degrees - inch by inch - almost imperceptively until the gift of retrospect shows us how far we've come.

I've always felt saddened and discouraged at the Eat, Pray, Love notion that God is within me and that I am in some little understood sense, God.  I need for my Creator to be significantly better than that.  To see better, I need to look outside myself.  Maybe I'm just more icky than your average professer of these beliefs, but I need a greater Hope.  A stronger, more loyal Love.

08/23/2010 11:10am

Oh, I just went and saw this! The book was definitely better, but I have to say I was mildly impressed with Julia Roberts, as she is not one of my favourite actresses either!
Love your review of the movie!


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