Don't leave just yet. Besides these articles, sometimes I send out extra special stuff. Don't miss out. Sign up here.
people are love and respecting (now).
Join the movement.
This movie is coming out today, Friday the 13th….(If there is a black cat in front of the theater, run!)
With it’s near release, I wanted to know; have you read the book?
(The real reason to watch this trailer is because it has one of my current song favorites: Dog Days Are Over. Oh, and you get to see James Franco.)
I read Eat, Pray, Love a few years ago when I was living in a Swiss Chalet. Sounds glamorous. Well, if you consider a bottom bunk and a broken ankle glamorous, then yes. It was. It was luxurious in the sense that most days I had utter quiet and did not have to talk to anyone until evening when the fellow bunkers returned. (Yes, shocker to many of you, I am more of an introvert.) I also had the luxury of reading, sleeping and staring out at the Alps that looked more like a painting than reality. I picked up Eat, Pray, Love because every time I traveled I saw someone with it in the airport. I wanted to figure out what was making all these women (and some men) say, “you should read this.”
I have now read two books by Gilbert to continue assessing her appeal factor to so many. She is an entertaining writer, comes off as transparent, knows her audience and besides us possibly having different spiritual beliefs, I like the way she thinks and processes life. I even watched a video of her speaking to other “creative” types a few months ago. She is motivating and well spoken. She’s the kind of person that you say, “I bet we would be friends.”
She has a seemingly introspective take on life, travel and spirituality, but her take on love and relationships is what interests me most.
…I wanted to hear from you first…
How did the book affect you? Were you left feeling satisfied? Unsatisfied?
What did you learn regarding relationships?
Did you believe everything in the book?
What was your take away?
Why did or didn’t you enjoy this book? What do you think makes movies and books like this so popular?
Don't leave just yet. Besides these articles, sometimes I send out extra special stuff. Don't miss out. Sign up here.
Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.
i liked the book — i thought gilbert was witty and charming. and i found her using perfectly descriptive words about her divorce heartache… words i hadn’t been able to find on my own.
i didn’t think it would make a good movie though, but i guess it has potential to do well simply because the book did. and, ya know, the whole james franco thing. i dunno.
I enjoyed the book. I laughed out loud many times, and not many books make me do that. She’s an entertaining writer, and, yep, totally charming. I didn’t take her worldview/perspective as the end-all about life, but I did enjoy her stories and they way she told them. The backlash surrounding the whole book kind of annoys me, just because I find it more of an example of the way society self-righteously turns on someone for getting “too” popular or successful, rather than a well-intentioned skewering of supposedly narcissistic agendas (which is the anti-view i’ve heard most naysayers supposedly taking).
but, nah, i’m not really interested in seeing the movie.
I liked the book, but I was sad when I finished it – not because I regretted that it was over, but because I KNEW that if the ending had been different, it wouldn’t have been successful. We love a book about a woman taking an emotional journey that gets her out of her old, destructive relational habits, but only if it ends with her falling in love again – and with the PERFECT guy. Because as much as we want to see our women empowered to be satisfied without a mate, we don’t REALLY want to see them single for long. Yuck.
Alece – Gilbert is really great with making her words feel like you are having a conversation with her. For someone going through something similar like yourself, that must have been comforting.
Annie – I think it’s stupid when something gets backlash for being popular (i.e. my love for Chris Martin and Coldplay (-:)
Kelly – Good insight. Also, do we think the popularity of the book came from how good the memoir was, or how good the ending was? Would most people have told their friends to read it if she had ended up without as you say, “the PERFECT guy.” And if it is the later, what does that say about human nature. And…is that a bad thing?
This was Entertianment Weekly’s rebuttal for people who bash things like Eat, Pray, Love, Sex in the City and Twilight and what EW believes they REALLY are for women: “Gilbert wrote about what felt like the most important, defining time of her life*, and millions have found her story useful and stirring. Adult fans of the Twilight series who put their children to bed after a long day of hard, unglamorous work, want to be reminded of their younger selves. Sex and the City devotees love Carried not because of her shoes or her sex life but because they aspire to her level of intimacy with her female friends. Should harmless escape routes really be so offensive to those who don’t get it?”
*Gilbert had a contract to write the book before she traveled.
I think because Gilbert is so winsome and disarming, some of her ideas are dangerous. She’s a really good writer, and really smart, and really witty and funny and apparently courageous, but she also left her husband because she simply, “didn’t want to be married anymore.” It’s not this idea that I find so worrisome, it’s our culture’s embrace that it’s perfectly acceptable to not want to be married anymore, as long as it’s done in the name of self-exploration.
I read the book soon after it came out; I’ve also read Gilbert’s Last American Man, which is very good; and I saw Eat Pray Love last weekend with friends. The first time I read the book, I felt as though I had a close friend who empathized with the struggles of womanhood. Seeing the movie made me restless, uncomfortable. It seems as though people and former lives are dispensible, this is the main idea of Gilbert’s work. As long as you find yourself in the end, as long as you become a truer, better version of yourself, it was all worth it. I think this is a lie that generationally we believe in all too easily. Although I do agree that there are cases in which marriages should be dissolved, most seem to be dropped rather quickly and for the sake of self-exploration, and nobody gives it a second thought. Something better has come along. Or we rationalize their way out of it, as Gilbert did, giving self-deprecating nods to her own behavior to sooth the jabs (reasons) she gives for divorcing her first husband.
I feel like we are missing so much by not commiting (I know she now has a book out called “Committed” and that Joy has read it…thoughts, Joy?) sacrificially to people and ideas and movements. Yes, Gilbert got to travel, and eat Italian food, and be given the nickame “Groceries” and met an amazing man. And wrote a book about it all which is hugely popular, and see a movie made about the book. In all appearances, her year was a success. But somehow I feel something large and important was sacrificed.
I just finished the book last night (and read this post this morning!). I agree with Erin, in that the first part of the story (her leaving her husband) did not sit well with me at all. But the rest of it- the searching for self, the longing to understand God, and working to find some sort of balance- it resonated with me because those specific topics have been a simmering volcano of dissatisfaction for many, many years.
As for the movie, I want to go see it. I want to see it by myself. But I know it will in no way touch the book because there is no way it can be packaged into a Julia Roberts film and really represent the year that Liz Gilbert had. I plan on going into the movie with the forethought that this is a fictionalized account of a real thing, and I read the real thing.
Erin – “…seems as though people and former lives are dispensable.” This was super insightful and I loved your thoughts. I did read “Committed” and had hoped to write a blog about it, but never got around to that post. There wasn’t as much of a hype around the second book as the first, so I think I dropped it. Again, she is an excellent entertaining writer, but her philosophies seem to be shaped based off of what she decides as oppose to letting her philosophies shape her life decisions. When someone is so articulate and convincing with words, this can be a dangerous thing. However, I don’t see Gilbert as dangerous, I simply see her as a good storyteller that may not realize the effect her philosophies are having on a generation of women.
Alli – Let us know what you think of the movie! Are you 100% sure that Gilbert’s book was “the real thing?” (haha, just playing devils advocate to get more discussion going!)
aw man… what I meant was the “real thing” was her experience, not the “real God.” It seemed that she met her goal within her year journey, but I honestly don’t believe she knows the one true God, especially if she is so permissive of other people’s gods, even using those practices held for those other gods as a means to her end.
I read Susan Issac’s Angry Conversations With God and that really seemed to me like a true quest for a real relationship with God. It was kind of refreshing because in college I read way too many of those “I’m not sad I don’t have a boyfriend because God is my boyfriend” books. Then to read about a woman who picked God as her husband and fought to have a real relationship with Him, struggling with the realities of the world (and her world is Hollywood), that was a book that inspired me more to have a relationship with God, way more than Liz Gilbert.
Alli – Thanks for the clarification, that makes sense now!
Everyone – I just discovered this article in my Time magazine. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2005158,00.html What do you think are the deeper issues this reveals, and what are the implications it will have?
Joy( BTW, that’s my granddaughter’s middle name) I came across your site after I heard your parents on Focus and was exploring their website. I am in my early 60’s so probably not the age group you are used to blogging with…but I wanted to touch base with you after I saw this post about Eat Pray Love. I have not read the book, or seen the movie nor do I plan to…but perhaps not for the usual reasons one may think. My concern is the use of time of a person’s life. The older I get, the more I recognize the brevity of our lives. If I choose to read this particular book or see that particular movie or participate in an activity, I am spending/investing a portion of the life God has given me to glorify Him. Spending one’s time results in very little, if any, eternal investment. Investing the time God has given results in eternal dividends. It is my goal to filter the choices of what I do, read, watch through the lens of Scripture & what I know to be true of God’s character & nature. I wish I could say I always choose correctly; I don’t. But Father God gently lets me know that that activity resulted in wood, hay or stubble and teaches me how to make a better choice the next time.
Joy, regarding Eat, Pray, Love, I am looking forward to seeing this movie soon with a neighbor who professes to be a Christian (as I am). I don’t know her that well, so I am looking forward to it prompting some interesting discussions about spirituality with Christie. I may even start a Bible study with our neighbors/friends if God leads. I didn’t read the book, but from the trailers I’ve seen and the comments above, it looks like Hinduism is glorified in the movie. It will be interesting to discuss the difference between real prayer and Hindu meditation. Anyway, I also wanted to say I’m sorry I submitted a comment rather than a question on your “chalkboard”. I did it before I realized you had this comment area. Keep up the great work and say hi to your parents for me (they probably won’t remember me, I was always an introvert, too, though a natural leader). Pray for me as I continue a ministry with fellow bipolar disordered people, as well as begin a new ministry with refugees (literacy). Thanks!
Karen – So great to hear from you and the chalkboard message you sent was very encouraging. I love that you remember me being born!!! Crazy.
Glad you are going to see the movie with your friend. I don’t think we need to shy away from this stuff or expect everyone to have the same religion, but I desire for us to be aware of what these things do to us and the filters they put onto how we view life, relationships and love. I think it’s important to be aware that something that might make us feel good isn’t always the best way to live.
Best to you and your new ventures! Thanks for stopping by!