Based on the best selling book by Elizabeth Gilbert, the inspiring film "Eat, Pray, Love" follows the author's gratifying, and often challenging, journey toward true, non-cliched enlightenment.
After spending years in a somewhat passionless marriage, Gilbert (beautifully portrayed by Julia Roberts) suddenly comes to the realization that she has completely lost the zest, hunger and general appreciation that she once possessed for life. After a brief relationship with a flighty young actor (James Franco), the title character begins to realize that throughout most of her young and adult life, she has all too often defined herself by her relationships and used men as tools for self- fullfillment.
In her never-ceasing yearning for pure contentment, Elizabeth embarks on a one-year journey, dividing her twelve months apart from the suffocating streets of New York City among Italy (eating), India (praying) and Indonesia (loving). Rarely -- if ever -- has any cinematic storyline so cleverly and powerfully conveyed and evoked such a wide array of human emotions. It is simply enthralling to witness the protagonist's "appetite for life" and to watch her positive aura growing throughout the time that she spends experiencing and finding raw pleasure in the scenery, food and general deliciousness of other cultures.
Although a fraction of the daily meditation/religious chanting that Ms. Gilbert practices during her stay in India seems to drone on endlessly, all in all it perfectly complements the overall message that "Eat Pray Love" brings to light.
Perhaps the greatest closure that she received regarding the troubles and tribulations of her past take place in Indonesia. One particular standout line, in which Roberts' charcter confidently declares to Javier Bardem's character, "I do not need to love you in order to convince me that I love myself," further illustrates the film's general premise that true happiness and contentment are internal and not contingent on external factors -- a life lesson that we can all benefit from.
Victoria Henley, 17, is the daughter of Lynn and Russ Henley of Colquitt. She occasionally reviews movies for The Herald.