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Eat Pray Love: book, film, reaction

Last week at The Glen Workshop, writer Lauren Winner referred to the book Eat, Pray, Love as…

“Masticate, Meditate, Masturbate.”

Sounds like the film is faithful to that spirit…

Here’s Steven Greydanus’s review of the movie:

It’s the Oprahfication of religion; the movie is ultimately no more authentically interested in Hindu or Indian culture generally than it is in Italian culture. Liz’s time in India is spiritual tourism, as her time in Italy was culinary tourism; it’s all a self-help consumerist approach to world cultures.

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8 Comments

  1. Mary Van Denend
    August 13, 2010 at 4:02 pm — Reply

    I read the book a couple years ago, haven’t seen the movie yet. It was cheeky and entertaining, but when she got to Indonesia, I’d had it with her voice. I have my own title revision for it: “Gorge, Pontificate, Lust”

  2. August 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm — Reply

    Haven’t read the book, but I like Lauren’s hilarious tagline. =D

    Will 3M be coming to the screen in 3D?

  3. August 13, 2010 at 9:51 pm — Reply

    I appreciate Mr. Greydanus taking the time to write his review, but I had a very pronounced “Well, duh!” feeling when I read it. A privileged, self-indulgent writer spends a year on her publisher’s dime finding herself, and an even more privileged, even more self-indulgent talk show hostess puffs it to the sky because she knows her audience will gobble up whatever puts them in the center of their own universes. Then yet another privileged, self-indulgent person, this time an actress, shepherds the book into a movie as its star and one of the producers. Ignoring this movie’s existence can begin in 3…2…1…

  4. Charlotte Vera
    August 13, 2010 at 11:01 pm — Reply

    I was once in a book club that prescribed this book. I don’t know if any book I’d read before or have read since has filled me with quite as much loathing. The self-complacent arrogant attitude of its author was only the beginning of its many indigestible offerings it proffers for its readers’ consumptions.

  5. Brian D.
    August 15, 2010 at 10:21 am — Reply

    When I told my wife about the concept of this book and movie (I’ve only just read about each), she said she would love to see the reaction of modern culture if a male protagonist was put in place of the Liz character. A male character who leaves his decent wife, then takes a year to find himself in various parts of the world, climaxing in the finding of a brand new wife. It is likely that our culture would rightly accuse the male protagonist of selfishness for the abandonment of his first love. Why, then, does our culture seem to insist that a woman in this sort of adventure is experiencing a glorious self-fulfillment?

  6. Tom
    August 15, 2010 at 7:53 pm — Reply

    Gluttony – Strange gods – Lust

  7. August 16, 2010 at 4:52 am — Reply

    Hm, Greydanus used the same terminology to describe the movie as Armond White.

  8. Jacob T
    August 17, 2010 at 7:29 am — Reply

    Jeffrey, I have not read her book but did enjoy this talk that Elizabeth Gilbert gave for TED.com. Have you seen this before? I would like to hear yours and others’ take on it. It is about 20 minutes long.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

    It is about nurturing creativity and while there are some weird things about what she says, I think that there is a lot of wisdom also.

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Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet

Novelist and critic Jeffrey Overstreet teaches writing (Seattle Pacific University) and film studies (Northwest University and Houston Baptist University). He's written a memoir of moviegoing and faith (Through a Screen Darkly, Baker, 2007) and a fantasy series that begins with Auralia's Colors (The Auralia Thread, Random House, 2007-11). He's worked since 2001 as a film critic and columnist at Christianity Today, and he's been a regular contributor to Image, Paste, and Christ & Pop Culture. His writing has been recognized by The New Yorker and The Seattle Times. He regularly speaks at universities, conferences, and churches in the U.S. and abroad. Want to invite him to teach or speak? Email joverstreet@gmail.com.