Eat, Pray, Love is the 2010 adaptation of the best-selling memoir of the same name by Elizabeth Gilbert, written and directed by Ryan Murphy, and stars Julia Roberts, Billy Crudup, James Franco, and Javier Bardem.
Liz (Roberts) is a writer stuck in an unhappy marriage. After getting divorced and jumping straight into another relationship, Liz realizes she needs to go on a Journey to Find Oneself and decides to spend a year abroad, going to places like Rome, Italy; a village in India; and Bali, Indonesia.
This film provides examples of:
- Adaptation Explanation Extrication: The movie notably leaves out Liz's struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts before, during and after her divorce, making her appear less sympathetic. It also leaves out her financial status, where she had to give up all her assets to secure a divorce.
- Affectionate Nickname: Luca, Liz's Italian speaking partner in the book, calls her "Gandhi" because of her plan to go to India.
- Amicable Exes: Subverted; Liz was hoping to have this with her spouse, but his refusal to let her leave and the ensuing legal battle destroyed any hopes of that. Not helped that by New York law, you have to write statements about how your spouse was emotionally abusing you.
- Big Eater: Liz turns into one while in Italy.
- Broken Aesop: The movie is built on the idea that money and possessions aren't everything, something that anyone with considerably less money than the protagonist couldn't afford to take the time to discover.
- Disposable Fiancé: The husband looks like a really nice guy. Their marriage really seems to be a happy one, until he brings up the topic of children and Liz receives a prophecy that states that she should go away and leave things behind. There is a flashback where Liz remembers their wedding, when the expected music goes down and some tango starts. Liz is startled, he decides to roll on and tries his best, making her enjoy it a lot. It can be seen as Foreshadowing; he is ready to struggle, she is ready to give up.
- Downer Beginning: The book starts with Liz's Heroic BSoD as she tries to divorce her husband, and how the ensuing struggle subverts Amicable Exes.
- Food Porn: A lot of attention is paid to the many pasta dishes Liz enjoys while in Italy. Not to forget that awesomely-looking pizza in Napoli.
- Good Ol' Boy : While not as conservative as some, Richard is a tall, amiable Texan.
- Gratuitous Italian: Averted- Liz is in Italy to learn the language and practice with the locals.
- Heroic BSoD: In the book, Liz suffers this at the beginning while trying to divorce her husband and stay in an on-off relationship with another guy. 9/11 happening in real time only made things worse, as did having to give up most of her finances to win her freedom. She overcomes it when a friend calls in therapy and antidepressants for her, though she goes off her meds in Italy.
- Journey to Find Oneself: The whole point of the film.
- Latin Lover: Felipe, a Brazilian (although played by a Spanish actor) who likes to play and record several Brazilian musics and gets in a genuine relationship with Liz.
- Lotus Position: Used by Liz when meditating.
- Mighty Whitey : A mild and idealistic type, but she does still try to buy a house for a poor Indonesian.
- Regional Speciality: In the section on her holiday in Italy, she recounts her experiences with their food. One sequence has her and a friend going to a back-alley pizzeria in Naples to taste their pizza. They immediately order another; her friend says that all other pizza is ruined.
- Scenery Porn: All over the place, given the filming locations.
- Spaghetti and Gondolas: The first section of the movie is quite literally a never-ending display of the most blatant, gratuitous or just downright offensive stereotypes about Italy and Italians. The book itself isn't much better, though.
- The Unfair Sex: Liz ends her marriage without any remorse or consideration for her ex-husband. Viewers are to automatically assume that it's all his fault. In the book proper, she explains just how difficult it was to get a divorce, and the Heroic BSoD that ensued.