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At the Movies with Peter Clease - Eat, Pray, Love

E: lizabeth--jobless, tireless and loveless; a former fiancÉ and (now?) divorcee--Gilbert wrote a book: eatin' and prayin' and lovin'.

E: lizabeth--jobless, tireless and loveless; a former fiancÉ and (now?) divorcee--Gilbert wrote a book: eatin' and prayin' and lovin'.

A: pparently, it resided--and still does--on the best seller list for many a week; although, pointedly, how does that infuse merit into the quality of the writing? If you recall, genre hacks, like Nicolas Sparks and the virus-ridd'n Stephanie Meyer, have made a home on such a list--and their only stylistic narrative is self-reliance on dull, clichÉd prose.

T: here's no money meter to parallel creative worth; so, thusly, success--whether it be financially or critically--is not synonymous with literate--or otherwise--value. And while I have not read Gilbert's memoir in its entirety, I have skimmed through the surface, read a few paragraphs, and find little interest in her incessant, routine ramblings.

P: lotted with emaciat'd complex, this very wordy adaption, excess and all, while trite at times, is neither good nor bad: it is simply pointless; the concept--a woman who, after divorce, "relives" her life--is banal, lazy and uneven, sans comic excitement, sans realism, lackin' images (a travel'gue, essentially) that compliment the narrative, rather than distract from it. Julia

R: oberts, playing Gilbert, skips, up, down, 'round and 'round, through Italy, India, Men and Bali. She eats pizza and pasta, and romanticises James Franco, as well as Rome. This is a spiritual conquest - Gilbert: "marvel at something" - we learn; yet, from the premise to the execution to the inert creativity, there is no vision present; and the downplayed "real" issues, combined with feminist melodrama, sequesters the film's successes from its failures, causing it to flatten.

A: nd despite this, despite all the hinting formulas, despite this and that and him or her, among the few entertainments, there is a performance at the centre of the film, which is so emotionally mature, so diverse, that it nearly anchors the entire product, and that is Richard Jenkins' subdued--or is it inventive?--act. Well and well, he gets the laughs. He is true: blue-collar; a rough old one--old enough to know he knows nothing. Then, as he friends Gilbert, he tells a story: one night, before the ending cusp of his marriage, drunk and used, he drove home, drink in hand, as his little boy play in the parking lot; his sight was mistrusting--and as he drove forward, closer and closer home--closer!--closer!--closer!--closer!--closer!--his boy in front of the vehicle, waiting to greet him--he speed, and... This is a great performance.

Y: this performance is back-ended, in relation to mediocre material, I do not know.

L - For the greedy (gorgers)-to eat with oneself;

O - For the crying (beggars)-to pray for self-self;

V - For the eager (whiners)-to love a no-self

E - {Gorge, beg, whine}

3 out of 5 popcorns

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