That was back in 2006 (long before Oprah picked it).
In case you haven't heard, EPL is the true story of a woman, Liz Gilbert, who turns her back on the "granite countertop and picket fence life" she created with her husband to find herself through some world travel and journaling...some pasta and some prayer.
Carb loading before enduring the 2+ hour movie
I read the book while underlining lines that spoke to me, and dog-earing pages I knew I'd want to revisit. And, I did. At that time in my life when I felt very much on pause, I empathized with a lot of what Gilbert felt and wrote. Thankfully, I eventually got over myself and my situational sadness.
Then, I wanted to tell Liz Gilbert to get over herself because, really...who couldn't find themselves on a dream trip paid for by one's publishing company?
But by that time Liz Gilbert was too busy talking to Oprah.
So, despite the love-hate relationship I've had with this now famed and highly cliched spiritual guide, I still wanted to gather lots of great women together to see it, and then talk about it.
Eating before Eat, Pray, Love
Because I love eating and drinking and then philosophizing with my friends.
And though I try to deny it, I'm cliche from time-to-time, too...
So, tickets were pre-purchased and Friday night found me and some of my favorite ladies at The Avalon, the cutest little theater in DC. The Avalon is like a Starbucks...
...only with a wine list.
Eat, Pray, Love gives women plenty to talk about, and the film stays pretty true to the book. Sadly, that's where it also fails veiwers. Even in two-plus hours of watching you still don't understand what motivates Gilbert, and you're even less sympathatic to her than when reading about all the hearts she breaks through the passport stamps she adds.
While it's not a romantic comedy or even a traditional chick flick, I enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love... but, unlike the book, I don't know if one would "get" her story without having ever a/read all about it or b/needed the courage to walk away from a relationship.
But again - courage and a book advance that lets you escape your problems by way of exotic travel are two entirly different apples...
Is this movie a spritual guide for women? Not at all.
Is it the perfect excuse to hang out with your friends? Absolutely.