It's like Sex and the Suburbs and 30 Rock all rolled into one…
… Or my Eat Pray Love review. Well, not exactly. Maybe not even at all.
A good friend of mine and I had terrible days, which seems odd since it was the 90th anniversary of the right for women to vote. As feminists we should have been celebrating in high style. Except that we were each stressed out and focused on the things that ailed us – work, weight, relationships. It seems trivial that as women we tend to focus on those three things, but it’s true. As wonderful as we are, as concerned citizens as we are, when it comes down to it we want to be successful at our jobs, in good health and in stable and loving relationships. We grew up just slightly before third wave feminism; we still think we can and should have it all.
So we went to see Eat Pray Love, or as another of my friends call it Julia Roberts Being Pretty in Exotic Locations. And a good deal of the movie is to show just how pretty Julia Roberts still is, especially in designer Hindu garb, or Italian dresses. It’s about her being sexy shovelling spaghetti in her face. Or how nice her smile is. And as we ate brownies and extremely buttered goulash popcorn, I began to feel terrible about my life.
First, Liz never comes to deal with any loss of money or financial trouble in the movie. We see her eating, buying tags that indicate she has taken a vow of silence, and encouraging her rich New York City friends to donate money to a family so they can buy a house. It’s easy to work on finding yourself when you don’t have to work! Of course she can enjoy the day eating pizza and shopping for jeans because she doesn’t have to get up and shelp to a job in which she might be overqualified for but has to take it because the economy stinks and she doesn’t get along with her co-workers. Of course she can take all day to find the perfect spaghetti because she doesn’t have a deadline for an assignment, or a cube neighbor making disgusting bodily sounds. Who has the ability to focus on themselves like that?
Her time in India is actually pretty good. Richard, the drunk who drove away his family, adds a realistic element to an otherwise flighty film. But when she gets to Bali and meets the man of her dreams…
Fuck that shit. It would never happen that way. Sorry, but I might be a little cynical when I doubt that after crushing his heart, he would ultimately take Liz back. Maybe I’m feeling a little lost, but I am not sure I believe in happy endings. Ultimately, we are alone to balance ourselves and make ourselves happy. A man, a relationship, a boat won’t do it.