Eat, Pray, Love ... Yawn
Glossy adaptation of memoir lacks spice, say critics
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2010 6:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – Eat, Pray, Love looks lovely but lacks both the spice and the depth of the best-selling memoir it's based on, say critics. Julia Roberts stars as a jaded New York divorcee traveling the world to seek enlightenment.

  • Roberts' Liz says she wants to move outside her comfort zone, writes Kirk Honeycutt at the Hollywood Reporter, but as she journeys through Italy, India, and Indonesia, "the film never ventures, even once, into a situation that does not reek of comfy familiarity."

  • The movie "is shameless wish-fulfillment, a Harlequin novel crossed with a mystic travelogue," complains Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times, though he notes that the overwhelmingly female audience he watched it with appeared quite moved.
  • Roberts manages to make the "2 hours and 15 minutes of eating, praying and loving pleasant enough," writes Roger Moore at the Orlando Sentinel, who decides Eat, Pray, Love "isn’t a bad movie, just a spiritually dead one."
  • Roberts is a great choice to play Liz but "her warmth, coupled with Javier Bardem's scruffy sexiness" as love interest Felipe, aren't enough to compensate for "the folded-map flatness of this production," writes Lisa Schwarzbaum at Entertainment Weekly.