Oh dear, and to think I waited 3 whole months to watch this film.
These days, I get to watch a lot of movies. A lot of them are crap, but at least, they were enjoyable crap. I happen to like the book Eat Pray Love, even if it was bordering on becoming an annoying chronicle of an entitled woman and her soliluquys on self-induced pathos. The thing about the whole Liz Gilbert thing is that she has a few worthy words of wisdom to share. The problem with the movie is that it tried to stretch out those few nuggets and squeezed every tear and blood and life out of it. I'm sorry, I'll say it straight out: I got bored watching this flick.
Me, who adores Julia Roberts to her very last incisor teeth.
I could say it was because they tried to fit one whole year into a 2-hour film. But no. I couldn't say Julia Roberts is losing her touch because she was just luminous and believable as Liz, even if I know Liz really exists and I know how she really looks like. The book was a minefield of witty commentaries, but somehow that didn't make it into the film. The book, as always, had more heart than the film. Sayang.
I did have favorite moments though like when Liz argues with her soon to be ex-husband and she told him that it's okay to dream but to just choose one --- then Steve exclaims, "Okay, I choose one. I choose you!" It takes a lot of chutzpah to deliver a line like that. I almost felt like standing up and clapping my hands to give Billy Cruddup props because he delivered it flawlessly and believably. Bravo!
I felt the slightest pang of envy when they showed that scene where she was eating gelato in Italy, then pizza in Naples, then the scenes where she was trying to fit into her jeans (so relatable since it's an everyday debacle on my part) --- I want that someday! The movie, I have to admit is eye-candy for creatures of the wanderlust like me.
And then two words --- Javier Bardem. I don't know what's with this guy. He's not even that handsome, his hair is graying and he speaks weird --- but something about him makes me raise an eyebrow and murmur, "Yum!" Ooops, wait, sorry Ib. You're yummier, of course. Even if Javier Bardem professes his undying devotion to me right now, I will, ehrm --- to borrow the debatably cheesiest line in the whole film --- I choose you.
Anyways, back to the point --- there were 2 characters aside from Liz who took the limelight and ran away with it. Richard Jenkins was phenomenal. He is about the only real character for me in the whole film. He shares this distinction with Ketut (the Balinese healer). A man with no teeth is amusing enough. But whoever that actor is, he portrayed the child-like innocence and honesty necessary for Ketut to be believable. Sometimes, too believable--- he made me smile just looking at him. Smile with my liver, you could even say.
Hay, sayang talaga. Of course I won't dissuade you to NOT watch it. People who haven't read the book will probably not appreciate it more. Gosh, people who DID watch the book didn't appreciate it either. So, you know, watch it if you want to. Just don't say I didn't warn you. Bring tonnage of Coca-Cola (or Thums Up) and hope it's enough sugar to keep you awake during the most excruciatingly long scenes of sheer talkativeness.