Eat, Pray, Love – not worth sitting through even for the shots of Rome

Eat Pray LoveA while back I reported that Julia Roberts was to star in an adaptation of the Elizabeth Gilbert novel Eat Pray Love, a fact I was looking forward to on account of the fact that a third of the film (the ‘Eat’ section) would be set in Rome. I hadn’t enjoyed the book (because it was so badly written) but thought that, as is sometimes the case with poor literature, it might make a better film. I was wrong. It’s now out on DVD, and I can sadly report that the film is even worse than the book.

There were some pleasant scenes of Rome, including, as has been widely observed, one in which Roberts could be eating San Crispino ice cream. I was perplexed by the fact that she was calling the Mausoleum of Augustus the “Augusteum” (not a term I’d ever heard used to describe it, maybe it’s an American thing?), and it’s not open to tourists. I’m pretty sure you can’t get into it without some kind of permit – it’s not a homeless shelter, as stated in the film.

I have read a lot of people saying that the book really ‘spoke to them’. Perhaps both the book and the film are aimed at an older audience than me, but I found it impossible to sympathise with Liz, despite having been through a similar situation myself. I put this down both to Julia Roberts’ awful acting and also the fact that, from the film, I really didn’t get what was so dreadful for her – the guy she was married to seemed perfectly nice and she seemed to have a nice life. What was unconvincing enough in the book was doubly implausible on film, which by its nature had to leave out a lot of the explanations in the book.

I found the opening of the film thoroughly crass, in which she claimed that Cambodian refugees, who had suffered from genocide, torture and starvation, would ask about guy problems (“I met this guy in the refugee camp”) when offered psychological counselling. Er, I doubt it. Just another example of Hollywood trying to sugarcoat everything. To be fair, I don’t remember this ridiculous statement being made in the book.

In conclusion, a dire film and not worth wasting over two hours of your life on, even if you’re a die-hard Rome fan and would watch anything set there. Even the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie “When in Rome” was better than this!

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About Rachel Ingram

I graduated from Oxford University in 2009 with an MA in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History from St John's College. After graduating I worked as a Geographic Researcher at Holidaylettings.co.uk, spending lots of time researching and writing travel guides to worldwide destinations, developing my copywriting skills. After working as a copywriter and content consultant at White.net (formerly SEOptimise), where I most enjoyed working with travel clients, I went self-employed. I now divide my time between freelance copywriting and running the business I set up with my boyfriend - AirExperiences.co.uk - selling aviation gift experiences. In my spare time I'm training for a Private Pilot's Licence, and I also enjoy travelling, wine and baking. My favourite authors are Charles Dickens, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Bill Bryson.
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2 Responses to Eat, Pray, Love – not worth sitting through even for the shots of Rome

  1. fran sansom says:

    Could’t have put it better myself! (re dire film)
    Just been catching up on your great blogs which should be invaluable on a firs and flying visit to Roma for husband’s b/day treat Dec. Thank you

  2. fran sansom says:

    Could’t have put it better myself! (re dire film)
    Just been catching up on your great blogs which should be invaluable on a first and flying visit to Roma for husband’s b/day treat Dec. Thank you

Comments are closed.