Directed by: Ryan Murphy
Written by:Ryan Murphy, Jennifer Salt
Starring: Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, Billy Crudup, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, James Franco
Released: October 7, 2010
Grade: C+

Liz (Roberts) is going through a premature midlife crisis.  I’m using the term “premature” because I don’t think midlife kicks in until you’re around 40.  Liz is just 32.  She seems to have a successful career as a writer but things aren’t working out when it comes to love.  She’s made the decision to split from her husband (Crudup) and find a way of “rediscovering” herself.

Her plan is to go on a year long holiday and visit three key locations.  She makes new friends in Italy and enjoys some tasty pizza and pasta.  She goes to an ashram in India and tries to cleanse her mind.  She will be given a new perspective on life by a friendly guru in Indonesia.  Will Liz be a changed person by the end of her journey?  More importantly, will she find a new love?

The film is based on the memoir of Elizabeth Gilbert which was first published in 2006.  The book became an instant bestseller and I’m sure many people will be keen to see this film adaptation.  I found it interesting to read that Julia Roberts chose not to meet the real Liz Gilbert before shooting the movie.  She wanted to put her own mark on the character and didn’t want to get caught in the trap of imitating her.

Maybe I wasn’t in the mood but I found this movie to be an exhausting experience.  There’s too much eating, too much praying and too much loving.  I should have known given the title.  Watching Julia Roberts sit in a café eating pasta just didn’t do it for me.  I struggled to relate to her tired, forlorn character.  Things picked up in the final scenes but it wasn’t worth the overly long running time of 133 minutes.