Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One Minute Review - Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love is about as simple and unassuming as it's title suggests. Of course it is. It's another example of putting stars into big movies and sending them out into the world to find no real dranger or drama. It happened with Brad Pitt in Seven Years in Tibet, Patrick Swayze in City of Joy and now it happens to Julia Roberts here. So what we are left with is a half hearted story in which a white woman travels to three places around the world to do exactly what's in the title after having a mid-life crisis of sorts. Conviently for her she always manages to bump into another American along the way or, when she runs across a foerigner, luckily enough, it is Javier Bardem.

Eat Pray Love was adapted from a best seller by Elizabeth Gilbert who is either the most boring of travelers or the victim of a poor, predictable adaptation. If, along the way, Gilbert achieved something profound in her personal journey, the remnants of it are not to be found here.

Maybe it's the fault of writer/director Ryan Murphy (of Glee fame) who overshoots and understuffs. Murphy has a way of confusing movement with artistry and bigness for something profound. Along with his cinamatographer, Murphy has the camera swoop and swirl and push in and push out and spin around from above, trying to make a lack of material seem big enough to inhabit its own running time. Take a scene in which Roberts, having come from a meeting with her laywer and husband over their divorce, comes upon her husband in the elevator. Instead of allowing a quite moment to pass between them Muphy lets the camera rapidly push in on her and then cuts immediatly to it doing the same thing on him. A small moment is forced to become a big moment and the impact is lost by being underlined. Stretch that to 2 and a half hours and you have about the effect of Eat Pray Love. 

1 comment:

  1. I found it strangely appealing for the most part, but yes a bit stuffy when it had nothing to be stuffy about. Nevertheless, on a surface level I enjoyed it a bit more than you.

    You do make some excellent points.