I hate the new film Eat Pray Love.
I’ll tell you why in a minute. But, first, a disclaimer: I haven’t seen Eat Pray Love. I didn’t read the book. I haven’t even read any full reviews of the book or the movie.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I’ll get on with thrashing the movie.
I’m 100 percent positive that I hate it. Not that I would hate it, but that I already do hate it. In fact, I’m going to go out a limb here and say that it’s the worst movie of the year, probably the worst film of the decade and possibly the worst motion picture of the 21st century.
Oh, and the book’s not any good, either.
Because, as I understand it, and I admit I might not understand it well, Eat Pray Love is about a 32-year-old unhappily married woman from New York City who embarks on a torrid affair, initiates a bitter divorce, ends up lonely and unhappy anyway, quits her job, and then travels to Italy, India and Indonesia for a year so that she can “feel something again” and “find herself.” Along the way, she samples some good food, bits and pieces of ancient religions, and a healthy plateful of wealthy Brazilian businessman that she later regurgitates and shapes into the book and movie we now know as Eat Pray Love.
Before I go on, yes, I’m fully aware that middle-aged women everywhere loved the book and love the film. I’ve seen groups of them standing in line at the theaters with their floppy hats and their chi-chi purses and their white capri pants, chattering and laughing and touching one another lightly on the shoulders with the tips of their professionally painted nails and adjusting their hats and checking their reflections in windows and talking about their new shoes and giggling while they dig around in their purses for change to buy their tickets, and generally detracting from my movie-going experience in a way that exasperates me as much as it makes me queasy.
And yes, I know that Oprah enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love the book–the one that has a title with proper commas instead of the one that reads like a Sunday Word Search for morons–so much that she invited the author, Elizabeth Gilbert, to discuss it on not one, but two, one-hour episodes of her enormously popular television show, which is, I ought to mention, ending next season, and not one virtual group hug or dewy drop of teary-eyed advice too soon.
Now where was I?
Oh, yes, I remember, although only God knows why given the brain-killing distraction that is Oprah and middle-aged women in floppy hats giggling because they’re having a ladies’ night out with white wine at the Macaroni Grill, and perhaps just one small piece of chocolate cake drizzled with homemade ganache and topped with pralines, and, hey, Mr. Gorgeous Young Waiter with the curly blond hair, could we have five spoons to eat it with please because we’re all on diets and this is very, very naughty of us but not as naughty as what we’re thinking about doing to you as you walk back to the kitchen in those tight black slacks to get our cake?
Where was I again?
Yes, I was telling you why I hate Eat Pray Love, the worst movie of the new millennium and quite possibly the precipitating event that will send the world spiraling toward Armageddon.
I hate, hate, hate Eat Pray Love because I hate all books and movies about self-absorbed wealthy men and women or even hermaphrodites who are able to take a year off from their horribly tedious, humdrum lives of luxury and go to Italy, India, Indonesia or any country that stars with an “I” so they can stay in five-star hotels and eat gourmet food and borrow just enough happy thoughts from spiritual leaders until they start to “feel something” and eventually “find themselves” and then go home to write a book about it and make a bazillion dollars so they can travel and eat some more to keep themselves from getting bored and listless.
Malarkey, I say, metaphorically pounding my metaphorical fist on my metaphorical desk until my metaphorical fist metaphorically hurts from all the metaphorical pounding that I’m doing!
Gibberish, I metaphorically shout without reservation until I’m metaphorically hoarse because you know what, where do all of those poor middle-aged women in Italy, India and Indonesia who glue our shoes together and sew the flowers on our floppy hats go when they lose their excitement for life and want to have an affair and travel the world to taste other people’s food and see beautiful places and talk about lofty topics with wise people and meet handsome Brazilian businessmen but can’t even think about it because they’ve got kids to feed and dresses to sew and prayers that need to be said?
Nowhere, that’s where they go, because they’re not rich and they’re never, ever going to meet rich Brazilian businessmen unless those men show up at their doors asking for permission to build dress factories in their villages so that they can get dresses made for a dollar a day and then have them boxed up and shipped to New York City to be sold for $300 along with a new pair of shoes and a matching floppy hat so that they can travel the world and have romantic affairs with wealthy authors.
And that’s why I hate Eat Pray Love.
But there is one thing going for Eat Pray Love: It’s stars Julia Roberts, and she’s got a radiant smile.