Saturday, June 14, 2014

Foodie Film Friday - Eat, Pray, Love

I know it's been a long time since the first of my 'Foodie Film Friday' posts but now that exams are over I can get this going properly.  So this week I am reviewing 'Eat Pray Love'.  For those of you who haven't seen it, it is a film about an American woman, Liz, who decides to go travelling in order to get her life back on track after a messy divorce.  She spends a third of a year in Italy - Eat - a third in India - Pray - and a third in Bali - Love.  I realise that this film is not entirely about food but it does feature prominently!

Eat Pray Love film cover

While in Italy Liz (played by Julia Roberts) decides to indulge herself, learning the language and enjoying copious amounts of Italian food.  The part of her journey spent in Italy is my favourite of the three because it is exactly what I like to do when I travel, pick up some of the language, sample the local delicacies and, if possible, get to know some locals to show me some things off the beaten track.

In Italy Liz's experiences range from enjoying the quiet calm of her small apartment as she sits down to a simple meal of asparagus and eggs (something which I am very partial to as you may have noticed, whether it be for  breakfast or brunch), to the hustle and bustle of Naples as she tries an authentic Neapolitan pizza.

Food is also something which brings people together throughout the film.  In Italy not only does she go out to restaurants to enjoy a meal with friends, she also tries to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for them.  You should never underestimate the value of food in helping to forge friendships.  Last year I met many of my closest friends over a beer and we cemented those friendships over food, whether we cooked or baked it together or went out to eat in a local restaurant.  Food is a very personal thing and by sharing the experience of eating it with someone you can really get to know them.  I will forever treasure the memories of our dinners in Bamberg, because even though we came from all over the world and had experiences of lots of different cuisines, cooking, baking and trying new food brought us together.

Eat, Pray, Love book cover

After watching the film (several times!) I finally got round to reading the book last year.  However, rather like with Julie & Julia I was rather disappointed.  I felt that Liz came across as far more self-centred in the book than in the film and not being spiritual myself I found it very hard to empathise with her experiences in the Indian ashram.

So on to my ratings:
Overall I would give this film 3/5 because although I adore the part set in Italy and I have been inspired to travel to Indonesia at some point, I find the part set in India less interesting.
As for how serious this film is (where one is serious and 5 is lighthearted) I would give it  3/5 as it is a fun film but it does make you think.
As food is only featured in one third of the film I will have to give it a 2/5 on the foodie front.

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