Saw it first time at the theater, didn’t like it. I went in hoping for great inspiration, but came out with “Sure, K!”. Second time was better, cause I had less expectation, and some free time on my hands. I was able to give Julia Roberts a deuxiéme regard, and I really liked her this time. Perhaps, with a smaller screen I could absorb more at the same time, especially for a melodrama.
A film based on a NYT best-seller of same title, authored by Elizabeth Gilbert. In essence, Gilbert’s autobiography.
Liz Gilbert, a successful writer with a New York publishing agent best friend, Delia Shiraz(Viola Davis), is not content with her life, and her intellectual vagabond kind of a husband, who cannot settle on one life goal. She is losing herself, and desperate to re-discover herself by surrendering to God. She will eat through Italy to rekindle her taste buds, pray in Indian to find her Guru, live in exotic tropical island, Bali, till her one year committed journey expires.
This is the kind of film that it either resonates or it doesn’t. Hence, really not much to talk about, except I wish more of Gilbert’s internal turmoil was displayed before the divorce happened. In other words, why she settled for a husband,Stephen(Billy Crudup) who didn’t like to travel in the first place? Other than the superficial “I still love you” spoken by Stephen at the divorce meeting, and Gilbert transcended by Roberts’s usual moistening eyes, I still had no idea why she wanted to divorce the guy, who apparently truly loved her. In fact, I sided with the husband, they took a vow at the altar!! She wanted out, cause…?(Obviously, the book gives more details as to the why and how!)
The rebound boyfriend, David Piccolo(James Franco) should really have ringed a bell, but I appreciated the confused Gilbert(Roberts) through that relationship. In fact, she was living with a version of herself, in my mind.
The best part of the film was still when Gilbert sat with Richard from Texas(Richard Jenkins) on the rooftop after a lavish Indian wedding, and before the sunset. Jenkins delivered the most memorable narrative of the entire film.
Then it was a Cinderella ending in Bali, so good for Gilbert.
WATCH…with your Bffs before hitting the bars?