Eat Pray Love – book vs. movie

I’m feeling out of the loop since I haven’t rushed off to see Eat Pray Love the movie yet. I love Julia Roberts and her charmed life as much as the next girl, and I love a little dose of movie magic, but I have to admit to being a bit hesitant. There’s been so much hoopla over this movie, including backlash, over one woman’s choices to find meaning, and her choice to put it in print (see one of my fave bloggers YogaDork for some great commentary on the EPL extravaganza). Let’s face it, EPL has pushed some buttons, both good and bad. I’ve seen more of the good side: I read it right when I was about to embark on my own big journey to move to Montana, and it resonated; I’ve also been offering EPL Yoga weekends since Big Sky Yoga Retreats began, that revolve around themes in the book. Needless to say, if the book offended you in the least, you wouldn’t be coming on our retreat. What I’ve seen with our EPL groups is women who are looking to make positive changes in their lives – and even if they can’t take off for extended visits to exotic locales (well, more exotic than Montana), it has inspired them to explore ways to gain the perspective necessary for change. For these women and myself, Liz Gilbert’s journey, and her expression of the journey, has come across as authentic and inspiring.

Back to my reluctance to see the movie. Which I will do sometime in the next two weeks, because I can’t lead our upcoming EPL Yoga weekend without seeing it, you know? I think what I’m worried about is that the movie, as movies will do, is going to glamorize it all too much for me. And this coming from someone who typically loves glamor; I used to work in the cosmetics industry, I am easily captivated by slick imagery, I adore James Bond. It just seems too easy – Julia, Italy/India/Bali as the backdrops – too tempting to gloss over anything unappealing. Those parts of the book that balance out the ridiculous glamor of Liz’s year of self-reflection/self-discovery. It’s too easy to conclude that success comes easily in a situation like this; we don’t get to see any of the struggle that took place, only the finished, highly edited package. It reminds me of when I tell people I lived in Paris; it sounds so amazing, and it was in many ways, but it was also one of the most lonely periods of my life.

So anyhow, I’ll report back on book vs. movie after I go see it. In fact, I may even incorporate a little exercise on that into our upcoming retreat, to find out what this round of EPL yoginis think (the retreat, btw, is sold out, or I would invite you to join us). Meanwhile, would love to hear your thoughts on all things EPL, please post a comment.

Also, for you EPL fans:

  • I was recently quoted in an abc news article called “How to Eat Pray Love…From Home”, under the “Pray” part.
  • Our retreat was mentioned today in the Washington Post Express article “Eat Pray Love Your Way: Three Realistic Yoga Retreats”; in case you didn’t know, I started my yoga career in DC with six+ years running my own studio called Georgetown Yoga. (Don’t click on the link in the article, we closed GY in late 2008 and I haven’t done anything with the website, my bad.)