Your average "Eat, Pray, Love" movie review contends it will put you in a vegetative state. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The book “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert caused a sensation, enjoying a long tenure on the New York Times bestseller list. A film was put into production starring Julia Roberts. The film was released today, and few critics warmed to it. The “Sex and The City” sequel released earlier this year, also a quasi-feminist travel film, was also pilloried by critics, and it may beĀ  the genre is starting to wear thin.

Voyage of discovery

The book, a travelogue, spiritual guide and autobiography by Elizabeth Gilbert, describes her divorce and voyage of spiritual awakening in her travels. She got a huge advance from her publisher to make the book happen. The film, directed by Ryan Murphy, stars Julia Roberts, Billy Crudup, James Franco and Javier Bardem.

‘Eat, Pray, Love’ movie review scores are low

On popular film review website Rotten Tomatoes, the film had a rating of 36 percent on the day of release. Beth Accomando from PRI’s The World said “more like eat, pray for it to be over, gag.” Adam Graham, of the Detroit News, deemed it “an insane fantasy for rich people.” Roger Ebert, of the Chicago Sun Times also was nonplussed. He said that to truly understand the film, “I guess you have to belong to the narcissistic subculture of Woo-Woo.” In the Christian Science Monitor, Andy Klein writes that as Robert’s character learns meditation, it “involves emptying her mind – which shouldn’t take much heavy lifting.”

Critics are often critical

While film critics are often gleeful (maybe too much so) to put as much venom as possible in a review, it seems that there is a common theme. The book was popular for a reason. There’s an uplifting undercurrent to it, about trying to find a spiritual peace of mind and meaning in life. However, that general theme does not capture everyone. Perhaps the theme simply worked better in the book. Some may find it inspirational, others are going to find it trite. It seems a lot of people find “Eat, Pray, Love” to be more banal than beneficial.

Further Reading

Rotten Tomatoes

Roger Ebert

Christian Science Monitor

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