Eat, Pray, Love Review Round-Up

I’ve been blessed to have many people point out with interest, reviews of Eat Pray Love before I made the mistake of innocently watching the movie. I have tried to read the book as it sits next my bed and stopped and started and stopped. I could tell you what I find offensive, but so many people are doing much better job than I am, so I’ll share.
First, via Dinka, we have Time Magazine’s review. Dinka was also generous enough to quote the money phrase on her Facebook page:

His take on Liz’s year abroad as a whole, in fact, might have been that beautiful white people enjoy listening rapturously to moral lectures and fortune-cookie affirmations delivered by the old, the unattractive or the darker-skinned.

Next, Barbara Nicolosi at Church of the Masses with Fawn Pander Blather:

At its core, Eat, Pray, Love relates the tedious pilgrimage of a selfish, immature narcissist (don’t think of that as a redundancy as much as an emphasis) who manages to evade true spirituality (in the sense of sacrifice and repentance) true connection with other persons (in the sense of sacrifice and repentance) and plot points (in the sense of sacrifice, and well, repentance…. Note to self: There’s a great new talk on the core of the successful transformational story arc there….).

The events of the past year (and I promise I will post an update, I just have yet to figure out how to find the words) have left me with negative 300 tolerance of the notion of ending marriages to “find yourself”. It’s an open wound for me. I’m pretty much outraged that modern culture finds this acceptable. I could write a million entries on what’s wrong with this concept, but for now I’ll just say I have a real problem with hit books and movies celebrating such selfishness.
The last is Eat, Pray, Love…why bother? I think this one spoke to me most of all:

For me, it was a morality tale of a different kind: a warning against spiritual smugness. As I watched EPL, I wondered to myself, “How could someone so hungry for answers spend four months in the cradle of Christianity and not encounter a single soul who could — lovingly yet with an appropriate sense of urgency — show her the truth path to God? She found language lessons — what about FAITH lessons?”

I didn’t understand this at all, and it disturbed me. I saw it as a slap in the face of my Italian/Catholic culture, which sort of brings us back to the Time Magazine quote.
I suppose I’ll try again to read the book. Julia Roberts annoys the heck out of me, so I’m almost 100% sure I’ll skip the movie.

1 comment

  1. I know the movie would annoy me no end, and ditto for the book. But it’s nice to see all these people here who agree with me!
    A MUCH better story – and how I wish the movie were available, but it isn’t – with a tie-in to Italy is
    “The Battle of the Villa Fiorita, by a favorite author of mine, Rumer Godden, has the adolescent children of an adulterous mother, go after her to get her to come back. They chase her down in Italy (from England). In Godden’s autobiography she recalls the delicious appropriateness of Ingrid Bergman playing the smitten mother (in the movie which was based on the book) at the same time she was bouncing from one marriage to another.
    I will be praying for you and your husband! I read your completely awesome post (got to it from New Advent, by the way).
    PS-I decided to fact check my information about Ingrid Bergman being in the movie I mentioned, and I can’t find it online. The movie exists, but Bergman did not act in it. Be that as it may, the book is wonderful.

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