DVD: Eat Pray Love (Cert 15, 134 mins)
Starring: Julia Roberts, Billy Crudup, Javier Bardem, Tuva Novotny, Viola Davis, Richard Jenkins, Rushita Singh.
In Bali, magazine writer Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) visits healer and medicine man Ketut Liyer (Hadi Subiyanto) for an article, and he reveals she will lose all of her money then get it back again.
Sure enough, Liz’s marriage to Stephen (Billy Crudup) ends in acrimony and she seeks temporary refuge with best friend Delia (Viola Davis) before pursuing a divorce. A brief dalliance with an actor called David (James Franco) convinces her to embark on a year-long odyssey in Rome with Swedish beauty Sofi (Tuva Novotny) and language teacher Giovanni (Luca Argentero), followed by a sojourn at an Indian Ashram where she meets a Texan called Richard (Richard Jenkins) and 17-year-old Tulsi (Rushita Singh).
Returning to Bali, just as Ketut predicted, Liz continues to search for sustenance for her wounded soul, including a very pleasant flirtation with divorced father, Felipe (Javier Bardem).
Based on the memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love is a heart-wearming travelogue about a divorced woman’s journey of self-enlightenment. Ryan Murphy’s film is bookmarked into chapters of gastronomic, spiritual and romantic fulfilment, with occasional flashbacks.
Roberts is luminous against breathtaking locations including several of Rome’s landmarks and colourful, sun-nourished eastern landscapes.
With the exception of Crudup, male co-stars have sufficient screen time to make an impact, especially Jenkins, who boasts the film’s most emotionally devastating sequence.
At 134 minutes, Eat Pray Love is not a short-haul flight of fantasy and by the end of Liz’s soul-searching and swooning, viewers might be feeling jet-lagged.