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Eat, Pray… Huh?

I haven’t read the book or seen the movie (and plan on neither), but I’ve heard enough about both to be cynical.  And to find this article by the Vancouver Sun‘s Pete McMartin, recounting his trip to see Eat Pray Love, absolutely hilarious in a depressing, if-only-this-wasn’t-so-true sort of way.  I just about sprayed coffee all over my computer screen after reading the title alone (“Bleat, Flay, Loathe … One Man’s Search for God on a Cineplex Screen”).

The whole thing is really worth reading, but the ending is absolutely priceless:

I walked out of the theatre a changed man. I totally got the message of the movie, which was: “To find spiritual fulfilment and love, if you don’t like where you are, be somewhere else, and bring travellers cheques.”

So, on the way home, I decided I would fly off to Bali, or possibly Vegas, and look for love and spiritual enlightenment. When I got home, I went up to my wife and I said:

“I don’t know how to be here any more.”

That’s when she hit me in the face with a frying pan, and I saw God.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. JC #

    That’s a great review.

    August 28, 2010
  2. Tyler #

    Hmmm as much as I agree with much of the review here, the story does carry a message that we should take pleasure in the smaller things. In her interviews she does make it clear that the odyssey component of her”transformation” shouldn’t be required. Who knows it thats doable or not but if a few people get that message and manage to make it work the world is no worse off. Sometimes all it takes is to no we are not alone in our feelings of solitude and despair.

    August 29, 2010
    • To be honest, my knowledge of the story is based almost entirely on (mostly unfriendly) reviews, but perhaps the message that we should take pleasure in smaller things rings a bit hollow from someone who has the time and resources to jet around the world in the pursuit of self-discovery?

      Neverthless you’re right, the world certainly would be no worse off if more people embraced the message of simplicity, wherever the message comes from.

      August 30, 2010
  3. Larry S #


    I seen snippets of the new movie. Enough for me to decide to stay away from it. I also read McMartin’s Sun article, loved it although I didn’t get close to spraying coffee.

    I was pleased that his wife brought him closer to God (via the skillet). On a totally other topic; as I write this post and look at the last line you’ve quoted it comes to mind that domestic violence isn’t something to joke about. (I can rememeber watching Jackie Gleason looking at his wife, making a fist and saying “To the moon Alice, to the moon” and the audience laughs). I’d say the day is coming when female on male violence will be seen as something that wise people will avoid using as fodder for a closing line. And no this isn’t being PC.

    August 29, 2010
    • Yeah, the day is probably coming… Part of me laments the fact that we would ever be deprived of such a funny closing line (so much for the still small voice of God!), but that’s coming from someone unacquainted with domestic violence. I can imagine if my experience were otherwise, that final line might read a little differently.

      August 30, 2010
  4. Having not read or seen the movie either, your comments and McMartin’s review resonate with my distaste for shallow, individualistic quests for enlightenment that leave a wake of relational brokenness behind them. It’s sad if people see her exact path as necessary to find meaning.

    At the same time, however, from what I hear of the book, there is a greater depth to her experience missing from the movie. The book presents an inner dialogue and wrestling that the movie simply cannot capture. I know of at least one person close to me (you can guess who!) who’s own Christian faith was strengthened through critical engagement with the book. Sadly, such critical engagement is often lacking in popular culture, justifying much of your dismay. But dismissing the book or movie altogether, I’d suggest, may be a little premature.

    August 30, 2010
    • I’m sure you’re right, Dave. It’s just so much fun to dismiss stuff!!

      Seriously, I am glad that good can and does come out of the book/film. I linked to the review mostly because I just flat out found it funny, but it is certainly easier to be cynical and dismissive than it is to take the time to understand and critique graciously and intelligently.

      August 30, 2010

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