Love. I believe it’s more than just the reserve of smug couples, especially when I talk to friends and hear their sorrows having not attained themselves a significant other. Cindy had suggested reading Eat Pray Love many times and even sent me the book. Just the title and vague theme (it’s listed in the Self-Help category) smelt a bit like to cheese to me. I could never bring myself to read the tome. However, I did see the film (if only to satisfy my friend) and was wholly disappointed, and not surprised either.
The story centres on an American woman who splits from a guy (her decision) to follow her dream of travelling. So, off she fucks. She eats a Pizza in Italy and winds up in Bali to find herself, seeing some sort of spiritual swami on a sporadic basis. So far so middle class. But what really makes my butt clench is the ending. It is direct opposition to my favourite femme-centred book where Colette, a French woman in an 18th Century marriage, finally decides to leave her husband and off she fucks too. With nothing but a revolver and mutt to keep her company. This is great and empowering for women! Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love, not so much.
You’d think if you were traveling the South East to find some kind of meaning to life, you may end up – you know, simply being a bit more okay with yourself or perhaps having an improved relationship with your soul or goals or a greater spiritual richness. But rather the finale for Roberts’ character is that she meets the man of her dreams. She was never searching for hope, or a new philosophy, or inspiration or anything of note. She was simply searching for a new beau. If you think about it it’s an insult to women who need to hear a message of independence, but also to all the real authentic spiritual people living in places like Bali and who tenaciously dedicate their whole lives to finding spirituality, or God, to help others and bring peace about their communities.