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Find happiness in Eat, Pray, Love

The film “Eat Pray Love” follows Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts), a woman living the life expected of her rather than one that makes her happy. To find herself and what makes for true joy, Liz leaves the life she has and sets out on a year-long journey. The first stop is in Italy for the tastes and smells of good eating and learning contentment with oneself, then India for prayer and finally Bali where she learns how to balance everything and open herself up to true love.
In this drama, letting go of one’s inhibitions is the purpose of the journey. As Roberts states in one of her more memorable lines, “I’m so tired of saying no and waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before. Counting every calorie I consume so I know exactly how much self-loathing to take into the shower.” For Liz, self-realization comes when she stops worrying about her appearance and does only what makes her happy. She breaks free of any personas she created for the sake of those around her. For the first time, Liz refuses to blend in with her environment.
Upon hearing of “Eat Pray Love” I considered the possibility this film could be another inspirational must-see. True life Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, was able to see some amazing places, meet some amazing people and record all of her experiences in a book—something of which I have only dreamed. In the film Liz stayed in the States awhile before actually traveling, trying to make her life work where she was comfortable, and it is there, I am afraid, the movie felt as though it was moving at a snail’s pace. It would have been nice if Liz’s life, previous to her travels, had been summarized briefly within the first twenty minutes of the film. Instead, there was only a slight introduction and more in-depth details about her relationships were introduced slowly, interrupting the overall flow of the storyline. However, once the story moved on, and Liz Gilbert was abroad, the film was as enjoyable as I had hoped and Roberts added a charming dimension to her character.
The film reflected the message of Gilbert’s book–when Liz learned, I learned, and the film helped me discover new things about myself and make me question a lot more. As Elizabeth Gilbert said on Good Morning America, “There are reckoning moments in peoples’ lives where they have to do the deep investigation of the soul.” It is almost required of us to look inwardly and see if joy exists with us or if we have missed it altogether.
“Eat Pray Love” does what a drama is expected to do: make the audience think, make them laugh and make them cry. The best part of Elizabeth Gilbert’s story is she does not learn all of it on her own, because she cannot—there is always a sense of communion and fellowship even after she leaves Italy and all of its fine dining. Every person Liz meets along the way is not just a passerby, there is a purpose for every meeting and she makes connections that move her and last her a lifetime. While the film was 133 minutes long, I do believe there is something for everyone in “Eat Pray Love,” and it is my hope others can take away something beneficial from it as well.

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