Thursday, August 26, 2010

Eat Pray Love

I've been thinking a lot about this movie since I saw it on Sunday.  At the risk of people hating me, I have to write down my thoughts.

Did I like it?

Mmmmm, I'm not sure.  To tell you the truth, I feel a little guilty that I only saw the movie, but never read the book.

After a failed marriage, disappointment with life, and another failed relationship, Elizabeth Gilbert goes on a quest to "find herself."  First, she goes to Italy and finds the joy in family and enjoying every moment of her life.  I loved this part!  Italy has been #1 on my list of places to travel for quite some time now, and I am even more convinced after seeing this movie.  Second, she goes to live in India and learns

"God dwells within me, as me."

This is the moment I cringed.  

If God dwells within me as me then I am in big trouble.  If everyone does what they feel is right (and whatever they feel IS right because they are gods), then peace among people really is impossible.    Unless there is a bigger, higher Power and unless there is a greater law, chaos rules.  If the only hope I find is within myself then what happens when I am disappointed with life?  Depressed?  This "discovery" that Elizabeth uncovered was untrue, depressing, and hopeless.

Third, she goes off to Bali to visit a medicine man that she had met on a previous trip.  She promises to teach him English if he teaches her all he knows.  He teaches her the importance of balance and how love fits into that balance.  La la la.  Happy good feeling.  "Smile from your liver."

After watching this movie, I was saddened.  I was saddened because there are people all around me, in cars, their homes, shopping at Trader Joes and Target, who are hopeless.  They are in the midst of vasts arrays of pain, from cancer to divorce or abuse to joblessness.  Like Elizabeth Gilbert, they may be, for the first time, crying out to an Unknown God for help and then searching in all the wrong places for something to fill that emptiness inside of them.  

And what does that mean for me?

Am I better than those around me because I have hope?  NO!!  I'm in their shoes.  By the grace of a loving, Almighty God I have been given hope through Jesus Christ who is the power of God for salvation for all who believe.  This God's law is love and it is something that gives hope and light and life.  By that law, I have freedom.  Freedom to live a life that pleases God by loving Him with all my heart, soul, and mind and loving my neighbor as myself. 

God dwells in me, giving me life through His Spirit.

 God also could write a book called Eat Pray Love.  The difference would be the definitions.  Jesus said, "I am the bread of life."  Praying is all about dependence on God, believing Him and His provision for our lives.  Love.  There is no greater law.  God is love.  Love for Him and love for those around us is what He modeled in Jesus Christ and what He calls us to do.  

So . . . all that to say that I'm ready to get off my behind and start showing people the love of God is the hope they can have in their lives.  For God's sake . . . people don't need to travel to India and Bali chasing their tales. 


  1. These were my thought exactly when I saw the interview of her on Oprah. She finds a lot of Truth in her quest, but not the ultimate Truth. So, really it leaves people grasping and finding more disappointment.

  2. I read the book but didn't see the movie because I wasn't much of a fan of the book. I am so glad you wrote this post because I felt the same as you but everyone else I know loved it.

  3. This was good to read! Just today I was reading some reviews on it in an attempt to decide if I wanted to see it. I had basically decided I didn't want to support this movie that seems to leave people without real hope in the midst of struggles. Reading your thoughts was helpful in confirming my decision.

  4. Jessica: I was about to read a review of "Eat Pray Love" in The New Yorker, then, well, Facebook distracted me. Facebook told me that you had written a post upon watching the film, so...

    Anyway, perhaps Amie and I will see the film (Amie has read the book), or perhaps not. But I loved your critical reflections on the film. After reading your post, I couldn't help but think: "God dwells in me, as me" is literally halfway around the world from "God dwells in me, giving me life through His Spirit."

  5. I just finished the book, You know the three "I"s in the countries she visited well there was a fourth I all about her, she busted up the marriage! the only part of the book that was good was the Italy part! The rest was just sad.

  6. Excellent reflections. I haven't seen the movie or read the book, but I will still agree with the premise of your post. I enjoyed reading it.

  7. What a beautiful thoughtful review.

    I just saw this film.
    I liked her hunger to be closer to God and her travels, but she was soooo me me me.