Eat, Pray, Love

 

Columbia Pictures

 

PG-13

 

Plot Summary: A woman struggling to find balance after a divorce travels to Italy, India, and Indonesia.

 

Reason for the Rating: Brief strong language, some sexual references, and male rear nudity.

 

Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Roberts) is a successful author in the height of her career, when she realizes that she doesn’t want everything that she has worked so hard to build: her home, her lifestyle, and ultimately her marriage.

 

After a painful divorce, she can’t get her balance or her passion for life back. So she decides to leave for a year on a quest for balance.

 

She decides to go to Italy for pleasure, the “eat” segment of balance. Coming from a life in New York City defined by ambition, Liz learns “il dolce far niente,” the art of doing nothing. In Italy she learns to temper ambition and hard work with food, friends, and pleasure.

 

Next, she heads to an ashram in India, the “pray” segment of her journey, to meditate under her guru. Although she came here to find peace, she finds that she can barely meditate for one minute without her mind wandering all over the place.

 

She meets a fellow seeker of enlightenment, Richard from Texas (Richard Jenkins). He’s brash and rude, but they form a friendship. He’s been fighting his own demons for years, having destroyed his family through addiction. But he teaches Liz that she has to forgive herself before she can move forward from her divorce.

 

Lastly, she heads to Indonesia to study under a medicine man she met on a previous writing assignment to the island of Bali. But she gets sidetracked by a smoldering Brazilian, Felipe (Javier Bardem) and the last leg of her journey toward balance is dedicated to “love.”

 

Although she falls in love with Felipe, she has to decide whether she can find balance while still giving herself to the man she loves.

 

This movie is based on the true-life story of Elizabeth Gilbert as written in Eat Pray Love. It is beautifully executed, being shot in Italy, India, and Indonesia, and is beautifully acted by Roberts, Jenkins, and Bardem.

 

For those who have experienced divorce, the movie is a thoughtful look at how it affects one and how to move on.

 

But despite the beauty of the film, parents should be wary if their teen daughters are interested in the movie and be prepared to discuss it if they do go see it.

 

Liz practices a sort of Hinduism, and in the course of the movie determines that God is in herself. The movie is full of other hip world views that are unbiblical, but can be attractive and seem mystical and enlightened.

 

A danger of this film is that it will romanticize meditation and eastern mysticism to a young generation. But this film can also be an opportunity to discuss God and spirituality with friends and family.

 

A beautifully executed movie, but to be carefully considered before watching with family. If your teenagers do want to see it, use it as an opportunity to discuss God, prayer and forgiveness.

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• What do you think the difference is between meditation and praying?

 

• Liz says that she believes God is in her. How does this differ or compare from your own beliefs?

 

• Liz learned to move on from her divorce by forgiving herself. What do you think the balance is between forgiving yourself and seeking forgiveness from God?

 

--AV

 

Note: All movie-related graphics in this column are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective movie studios. 

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