Total chick-flick, but hey sometimes chick flicks aren’t so bad.
After deciding to reshape her life, Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) travels the world in search of direction. She heads to Italy, India and Bali, indulging in delicious cuisine while seeking the true meaning of self-love, family, friendship and forgiveness. Along the way, she meets a bevy of characters and, possibly, her true love.
I’m probably the only human being alive who still hasn’t read this book, and for the most part after seeing this, I don’t mind if I ever do.
This is writer/director Ryan Murphy‘s second adaptation of a book, and I don’t think he quite knows how to get to the emotional core of a story. The film looks very, very good with beautiful shots of Italy, Indonesia, India and the vibrant colors and glorious shots really do have us feel like were right there with her in this place.
However, the scenery may look beautiful, Murphy still doesn’t know how to direct this film in actually becoming something involving. At times, the plot and the flow of the story felt very fragmented to me, as if I kind of felt like I was just jumping from location to location with Julia, and there was no depth to the story. I didn’t feel totally involved with this story, because Murphy doesn’t do a good job at actually creating a love story we can all care about. I must say though that there are many times where I actually had a good time with this film with some moments actually having me laugh, and a little bit inspired.
This chick gets out of her marriage one day and just says I want something new, and decides to run off to all these beautiful locations to search for love in her life, and the meaning of it all. I wish I could do something like this, and just not give a damn about anything, because going with the flow is so much better than caring about so many things in your life.
Julia Roberts is perfectly cast as Liz because she can talk to you about pizza like she’s your best friend, and you totally forget she’s a movie star. She’s not over the hill, but she is over the bullshit and watching her in every scene was great. The only problem is that I feel like the film doesn’t do her much justice because we needed more insight to her life before all this changing started happening, to actually get a real sense of who she actually was. Still, somehow Roberts as always makes this babe very likable.
The men in her life all seem like premise conveniences but they all have that charm to do something about it. Billy Crudup’s character, Stephen, is kind of an ass, but you can kind of see where he’s coming from in all of this. James Franco does an alright job as Liz’s boyf David, and although the writing kind of makes him out to seem like a drag, he still does try with this character. Javier Bardem plays Felipe, who is just sly, sexy, and cool. His chemistry with Roberts is very good, and actually had me believe these two when they were together on screen. Viola Davis doesn’t get enough scenes like I would have hoped for, but she tries her best. However, the best out of the whole supporting crew is Richard Jenkins, the guy who shows up in about 10 films a year. He plays Richard (unique name) from Texas, and right from the get-go you are laughing your ass off at everything he says, so you think he’s just going to be the comic relief of the whole film, but it’s actually more than that. His character has a lot more of an emotional depth than you would expect and Jenkins sells it so well, in a perfect scene that totally won me over. This guy is always amazing in no matter what he does.
Consensus: The cast does their best with this script, and the scenery is just beautiful to look at, but the film feels a little bit too shallow to involve us in this emotional romantic story, and parts feel more rushed than others. However, there are still some pleasant moments, and you will enjoy yourself if your looking for a good date movie.