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critical thinking group activities Pray Love 2010

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Plot: While trying to get pregnant, a happily married woman realizes her life needs to go in a different direction, and after a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey. Based on the memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Rating: PG-13  for brief strong language, some sexual references and rear nudity (male)

Genre: Drama

Starring: Julia Roberts, James Franco, Javier Bardem, Richard Jenkins

Director: Ryan Murphy

Running time: 2:13

Kate says – 2 1/2 stars  – “I am about to begin reading Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Giltbert’s Oprah endorsed bestseller, for my neighborhood book club. Unfortunately, I saw the movie  first. I hear the book version is so much better, at least that’s what I am hoping. The movie isn’t horrible, it’s just not as deep or meaningful as I wanted it to be, kind of glossed over and superficial, never daring to delve into a real search for inner peace. It seems more like an overly self absorbed journey of  indulgence, where Gilbert learns that way to self discovery is to become even more self indulgent. Eat Pray Love is a visually beautiful movie though, full of lavish, lush and exotic locales. Roberts is gorgeous and glowing and is a pleasure to watch. The movie does offer two plus hours of escapism fantasy for women who may have briefly imagined ditching it all for such a journey, but in the light of day would never truthfully give such a notion a second thought. I think it’s pretty safe to say that this is not one that men will be clamoring to see as it’s about as chic-flicky as a chick flick can be.”

Ebert says – 2 stars “You can see how it would be fun to spend a year traveling with Gilbert. A lot more fun than spending nearly two hours watching a movie about it. I guess you have to belong to the narcissistic subculture of Woo-Woo…The audience I joined was perhaps 80 percent female. I heard some sniffles and glimpsed some tears, and no wonder. “Eat Pray Love” is shameless wish-fulfillment, a Harlequin novel crossed with a mystic travelogue…” (read full review)

Steve Persall (St. Petersburg TImes) says – “B” Italians have a phrase — Che posso fare? — meaning “What can I do?” It’s sometimes used when the answer is: “Nothing, just go with it.”…Lots of things happen in Eat Pray Love that only the lonely and book club members will understand. You just go with it. Roberts makes it easy, summoning every ounce of acting talent sidelined for years by motherhood and projects beneath her. This isn’t a showy performance, but one that involves subtle reactions to dramatic twists and genuine wonder at what her character discovers. Roberts still flashes that dazzling smile at precisely the right moments to endear, but those moments are effectively chosen. No doubt it will be remembered in awards season.…Eat Pray Love is femme filmmaking at its femmiest, yet fits nicely alongside other movies men don’t usually confess to liking and women love. Sometimes “the sweetness of doing nothing” except traveling the world, finding yourself and pigging out is a seductive idea. Che posso fare?” (read full review)

Roger Moore (Orlando Sentinel) says 2 1/2 stars - “The generations of American women who have grown up with, identified with and love Julia Roberts may relish her star turn in Eat Pray Love, one woman’s journey in search of herself and other things…But Glee writer Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir isn’t anything as remotely deep as that. It’s a travelogue about an impulsive, self-absorbed travel writer who ditches her admittedly flighty husband (Billy Crudup) with a single line…This is Sex and the City with Carrie shopping for spirituality. And it’s damn near as insufferable as Gilbert’s very popular book…For a film about a woman whose motto is “I’m through with the guilt,” Roberts and Murphy & Co. have delivered a guilty pleasure. It’s great to see her in something this light again, looking much as she did ten years ago. Eat Pray Love allows Roberts’ longtime fans to travel the world, and back in time with her. If only we all could eat until we pop and age in reverse and still have the glow of amber backlighting.” (read full review)

Christy Lemire (AP Movie Critic) says 3 stars – “Eat Pray Love” does exactly what it should to satisfy its core audience: It provides a gorgeous escape, exquisitely photographed and full of female wish fulfillment. Yet it also offers sufficient emotional heft and self-discovery to make you feel as if you’ve actually learned something and, perhaps, emerged a better person solely through osmosis… Having Julia Roberts star as Liz Gilbert in the film version of the best-seller, in theory, only makes it more appealing to an even wider audience. Roberts is radiant as ever, and director and co-writer Ryan Murphy’s adaptation allows her to show off her full range with plenty of hardcore hanky moments…Regardless of how you feel about the movie, though, “Eat Pray Love” will make you want to head out for wine and pasta with your girlfriends afterward. Any excuse will do, and this is a good one.” (read full review)

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