A Deeper Look at “Eat, Pray, Love”

I’ve just come from seeing the movie, Eat, Pray, Love.  I really enjoyed it; I’d recommend it.  It’s filled with talented, beautiful Julia Roberts (Liz) and many engaging people. Almost all express a life message.

The theatre was packed with people who appeared to be from mid-twenties on up in age; many women but lots of men, too.  I sat in the very top row of stadium seating, as always.  So, when I left I passed every row going down. Thrown-away tissues littered the floor.   My thought:  the movie spoke to a lot of people.

After I got home, out of curiosity, I read the review on hollywood.com.  Condensed, it states that:

1. Liz isn’t entitled to an expensive year off; her life hasn’t been all that tough.

2. Liz’s journey is shallow and only warrants a comment on her own Facebook site.

3. There are too many photographic shots of spaghetti …..yes, spaghetti and too many shots of Liz being portrayed as a sweet angel.

The review, more than page in length, dripped with sarcasm and criticism. But, I think he missed the important stuff.

That said, the rest of this blog deals with Liz’s inner struggle:  who the heck is she, really, and what does she want out of life?  WHY did she fall in love, marry an immature, not-responsible man, divorce him and immediately tumble into an affair with the same kind of guy.  She’s depressed and, hey, no wonder. She’s confused and feels numb, empty.  I say: good for her that she’s able to realize it.

She recognizes that she needs a time-out. And, smartly, decides to take a year away from New York.  She hopes to discover more about whom she is, not who others tell her she is, or who she thinks she should be to fulfill those other’s expectations of her. Just who she is at her core.  (Like all intense, over-responsible Pleasers, she has no idea what she wants from life, except in her work.  It doesn’t occur to people with Pleasing personalities to think about what they need or want; they’re too focused on others and making them happy.)

It’s in Bali, after spending time in Italy and India that the process of knowing herself culminates.  Inner healing begins.

At almost the end of her sojourn, she meets a mature man who is honest, open, loving, patient, and comfortable with himself. He’s balanced. He declares that he wants a committed relationship; she’s afraid.  But, she does then realize that with him, she won’t have to sacrifice herself as she has done in her past relationships. She summons up the courage to begin living and loving fully with him, maybe for the first time.

I thought the movie presented lots of good messages about how to live a meaningful life.  Some that I took away:

  1. Slow down.
  2. Listen inward.
  3. Have the courage to feel, instead of just do. 
  4. Commit to living a balanced life. 
  5. Let go of trying to make life what you think it should be; instead, deal with what is, knowing you can.

 

I think the reviewer missed a lot.  How about you?

 

Best regards,

Joan

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