I have a love hate relationship with movies. I enjoy a good movie but my tastes are fairly specific and I rarely venture out of my little bubble. Dave and I don't often go to the movies together since if we are going to spend the time, money, energy and effort to get out of the house for an evening it does not appeal to us to do so merely to sit in a dark theatre with sticky handrests to watch something we will probably not enjoy. My idea of a date with my husband is a nice bottle of wine in a dimly lit restaurant, some decent food and a few hours to gaze into those blue eyes that still make my knees weak.
That being said I enjoy the occasional uplifting chick flick. Or a fun musical or a romantic comedy. I enjoy it even more with my girlfriends and a nice meal before or after.
Have you noticed I'm all about the food?
So early this summer when I heard there was a new Julia Roberts film on the horizion I was happy since I generally enjoy her movies. She is one of those actors I can still enjoy because she is talented, nice to look at, funny and has not yet opened her mouth. By that I mean she has not taken it upon herself to inflict her political/social/religious opinions on the rest of us via Oprah's couch or the Larry King show. She seems to me to be someone who is talented and takes her work seriously and then disappears from the limelight to be with her family. I like that in an actor. I do not like actors who think because they can make movies they should have a say in how the world should work. For example I enjoyed Tom Cruise movies early in his career and then he seemed to go off the deep end. Now he could make the best movie ever and I would no more spend $12 to see it than I would spend it to contract ebola virus. Same about Sean Penn and if I ever got close enough I would pinch Susan Saradon, I find her that obnoxious.
So I am conflicted about movies. Not about actors.
Anyway, I hear there is a Julia movie coming and I think that I might actually go see a cute romantic comedy. Then I heard which movie.
Eat, Pray, Love.
I was disappointed. To say the least. I read this book years ago when it first came out and I have to say I HATED it. H.A.T.E.D. it.
Gimme an H, gimme an A, gimme a TED……
You picking up on the depth of my feeling for this book? It's not that the book was not well written, it was, very well written for a popular novel in the god-awful-no-one-seems-to-care-about-grammar-or-syntax genre of chick lit. It's not that the author isn't a good storyteller, she is. I read the whole book in spite of the fact that I hated it. She tells her story really well and I was not tempted to not finish the book. I was tempted to smack her.
So why did I hate it? She drove me crazy. Here is a woman with a perfectly fine life, a decent husband, an interesting career and a nice house yet she can't stop whining about how unfufilled she is. Eventually she leaves the poor guy (best thing that ever happened to him even though it probably was hell at the time) and takes up with some actor no one has ever heard of. When the starving artist fails to fufill her and then dumps her she convinces her publisher to pay her to take a year and indulge in her whims and to reclaim her indentity which apparantly could only be done by indulging in food, self absorbed "spirituality" and a sexual romp through a tropical island.
Gilbert takes off for Italy to indulge in food since she has been emotionally and physically starved by her unhappiness. Of all the idiotic….
Well she makes the point that the food is wonderful and she gains weight but don't think this princess is chubby because she was soooo thin from the abuse of having to live with a nice guy in a nice house in New Jersey.
Then she needs to be spiritually fufilled so it is off to India to an ashram to learn to find God by meditating for hours at a time. By this time I was hoping an elephant would stomp on her. Find God in India when you could have found Him in your living room? Or here's a radical notion, go to church. Or an even more crazy idea, find God by helping others in need. Just a thought. rather than trying to find God by quelling the teenage-like angst in your head why not venture out and help someone else? See the face of Christ in the poor of India like a certain little nun we all knew and loved and stop whining about how your path to spirituality is blocked because you are so deep and riddled with complex thoughts that are too much for the rest of us to comprehend.
Next stop is Bali where she tries to incorporate the two halves of her new life, the physical and spiritual and it ends with her having an affair with a man she barely knows which the reader is subjected to in more detail than is necessary. Honestly lady have some dignity. Have some self respect. Write a book your mother could read without wanting to die of embarrassment.
From what I understand, and this is screamingly funny, she marries the guy and they – you ready for this – settle down and buy a house in New Jersey. So she ends up exactly where she started and her next book is about being married. It's like we all were conned. She has all this angst about her married suburban life and then leads us through 350 pages of prattling about it to end up where she began. If you were dumb enough to buy the book you should feel cheated.
I have no patience with this nonsense. Seriously this book is the most self absorbed, smug, spiritually vacant, narcissistic, egotistical, annoying piece of crap I have ever had the misfortune to apply to my brain. My own fault actually since I continued to read the nonsense but as I said she is an excellent storyteller and I kept hoping someone would smack her across the face and tell her to snap out of it. Never happened and of course now she is a bizillioniare with a second book (no I won't be reading that one) and a hit movie to her credit.
We are a navel gazing society that can't even recognize that a woman cannot possibly find herself while running away from everything that is meaningful in life. I don't mean that a woman has to be married or live in the suburbs to be fufilled but if you are so self involved that every little tiny thought of dissatisfaction or anxiety that pops momentarily into your head convinces you that your very identity is in peril it is unlikely you will find yourself anywhere. I am so sorry I found her. I wish I had left her in the library.
And now I find out that this nonsense has infected the brain of Julia Roberts.
Quoting here from the above linked artice at www.lhla.org (hat tip to Michele)
"From Rome, she heads to India and the religious establishment run by her new lover’s guru where viewers are treated to an “unhealthy atmosphere of semi-idolatrous worship,” the Bishops state.
This seems to be where Roberts was personally “enlightened.” In an interview with Elle magazine set to debut next month, she announces that ever since filming scenes in India for Eat Pray Love, she has become a practicing Hindu. Roberts, who was raised Catholic, says she and her family now worship as Hindus and go together to a temple to “chant and pray and celebrate. I’m definitely a practicing Hindu.”
Apparently, she not only named her production company “Red Om Films” but also allowed a Hindu priest to rename her children. The Times of India newspaper reported last fall that Swami Dharam Dev claims to have given Roberts’ three children the names of Hindu gods. He told the Associated Press: “I have named her twins Hazel and Phinnaeus as Laxmi and Ganesh, while Henry will be called Krishna Balram.”
Are you kidding me? Really? She converted to Hindu, which is more of a philosphy of self actualization than an actual religion, because of a movie? Are you kidding me?
Another Hollywood actor looking inward and finding out that really they are so wonderful they need to chant about it. Spare me.
Sigh. Again. I wish she hadn't given that interview, because now I will never be able to enjoy her movies again.
Scientology, Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age, flakey, baloney babble…what is going on out there on that left coast? Moral relativism, intellectual void and a spiritual bereftness has left people willing to believe in anything that makes them feel better about themselves. Next they'll be worshipping at temples devoted to red wine and dark chocolate.
Happily I can eat, pray and love all within the confines of the Bonny Blue House with the people who fufill me and a God who has blessed me beyond anything I deserve. I need not seek Him in out of the way places but find Him here everyday in my home; and a mile away where His real presence resides in my church and in the face of those I meet all around me.
Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure no one wants to make a movie about that.
Hallie Lord says
And oh, how I love you!
Yes, yes, and yes. 🙂
Jennifer (Conversion Diary) says
I can’t even speak about this book, because every time I do it turns into a very long rant that makes the people around me uncomfortable. I also read it, and also found it to be unbelievable (and not in a good way).
Anyway, loved this post. 🙂
Margaret in Minnesota says
Yep, you said it. I agree.
And now would you like to be really scandalized? A couple of years ago, I brought this book with me on an Ignatian (!) retreat. Thought I would read it in my free time…
Well. I quickly realized that it would be a BAD thing, getting struck by lightning while on retreat.
Pity the book’s so well-written. Pity Julia’s so well-received. Pity I see scores of young people (in my own family and otherwise) who are SO very into yoga these days…
Wow. Mary Ellen you said it perfectly!!! Everything I hate about today’s self-absorbed, navel-gazing, self-important society is wrapped up in that book (and now movie). Yuck. Just yuck.
I can’t even speak coherently about how utterly pathetic I find the whole affair, and it kills me that soooo many people are now convinced that this (or something similar) is their path to fulfillment.So wrong.
How about this instead:
“My child, conduct your affairs with humility,
and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
and you will find favor with God.
What is too sublime for you, seek not,
into things beyond your strength search not.”
I haven’t read it, and now I never will. Thank you for saving me from spending even a few free moments of my busy life on such idiocy.
Seriously, you say it all perfectly: “Moral relativism, intellectual void and a spiritual bereftness has left people willing to believe in anything that makes them feel better about themselves.” Amen, sister.
And converting to Hinduism?
Meditating for hours on end, my foot. Hello!?! Contemplative put their hokey ecstasies and mantras to shame, baby.
Ah, now I’m ranting. Thanks again for saying it all so well! Will you put this into an article on CE and maybe head off some hapless souls from confusion?
LOL I hear you! It sent off red flags from the get go so I didn’t bother knowing the book. I swear I may whollop the next ‘unfulfilled’ woman I meet. As my Gram would say, they obviously aren’t working hard enough.
But then those who don’t have enough real problems tend to create their own. : p
I feel the same way about sooo many actors, and sadly, after hearing all this nonsense about Julia Roberts recently, she’s now in the club.
This book reminds me of Julie & Julia. Fortunately the movie was so much better than the book. I quit on the book about halfway because I just couldn’t continue to put myself through the insults.
Great post! I only wish I could say it as well.
Like Jenny above, I wish I could say it as well. I’ve told numerous people I hate the book, and the incessant whining, but I’ve been unable to say more. Job well done!
Phenomenal post. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie. I had heard some people talking about having issues with it, and now I see why. I won’t bother wasting my time or money. Probably won’t be watching any Julia Roberts movies in the future either. It’s very hard for me to take someone seriously who can change their whole lifestyle/family/relationships etc over something as silly as a book. Wow.
Lisa Sweet says
All I can say is Amen!
Thank you for that post! You have brought me out of my own self-pity!
Teresa Hansen says
Loved the post! Smiled thinking of how your nose would wrinkle if you were speaking and not typing!
thanks for this post! i was considering going to see this. the previews looked ok. but you saved me from wasting my time AND even some bucks!
kateri yanke says
i hate,hate,hate,hate it as well.and i too like j.a.
Elizabeth C. says
Hollywood may not want to make a movie about your life (or that of the lives of so many of us) but, I’d go watch it. And I think I wouldn’t be alone in the theater either.
I hated the book, too–couldn’t even finish it. Knew from the beginning there is NO WAY I will see the movie.
Please pray for my neighbor who loved this book & has recently separated from her nice normal hubby to go get “fulfilled” elsewhere. I L.O.V.E. your post– jumping up & down, clapping, and praising God that there are women like us who still want HIS best!
I feel like Cinderella at the ball everyday that I homeschool in this small town with my hard-working hubby, 2 beautiful kids, and my little saint in heaven praying us throgh this life. Can’t wait to see what God has in store for us in eternity!!!!
The author of this book totally missed God’s definition of love. If only she would have consulted the owner’s manual…
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