OK so I saw it: Eat Pray Love The Movie. And I liked it, despite my pre-movie angst. As expected, there are so many parts of the book that couldn't be developed in a 2 hour movie, especially people's full personalities (like Ketut's wife), but you fill that in yourself if you've read the book. It's gorgeously done, also as expected, with unbelievable scenery and imagery. The themes resonate (but again I would think only superficially if you've not read the book). And of course, it has Julia in all her glory: exhibiting every womanly emotion beautifully, doing voice overs with quotes from the book, elegantly slurping pasta and shoveling pizza in Italy, looking sparkly clean and fashionably attired during the entire India segment, and tossing her Pretty Woman mane all over the place. EPL was, in essence, the absolutely perfect chick flick.
I realized something about the EPL phenomenon after seeing the movie, something extremely simple about its unlimited appeal. Liz Gilbert's story is about connecting. Connecting is something that everyone on this planet can do, no matter where in the world you might find yourself. Connecting is what keeps us balanced, engaged and energized. We thrive on connecting to others, and being connected to what's going on internally with ourselves (ahem - hello yoga! The translation of the Sanskrit is literally "yoking", or "connecting". And how about this quote from my new fave book, Myths of the Asanas: One way of describing the state of yoga is as a feeling of interconnectedness, in which we experience that a part of us exists in everything and vice versa.). We stagnate when we stop connecting for whatever reason, which is why her story happened; she did something dramatic in order to reconnect, but other than that, there isn't anything that unusual about it. The book and the movie are all about the connections she made during her year away. We all have the potential to create connection, and we all lose touch with that power for a variety of reasons. It's something that has to be worked at, cultivated. It's not easy, in fact it can be a lot harder than just settling for whatever disconnect your circumstances have brought upon you. Sometimes it's easier to numb yourself rather than feel.
I went in to the theater with a bit of a cynical outlook, but I ended up with a lovely visual reminder of why I liked the book so much. It even made me cry. My favorite person in the book/movie was Richard from Texas, and the scene where he takes her up on the roof in India totally choked me up. So, to see or not to see EPL? Just do it.