I just finished the book Eat Pray Love, and then also saw the movie yesterday. I love to read books before watching them if they have been converted to a movie. Usually I like the book more, but sometimes I do enjoy the movie more.
For Eat Pray Love, I had mixed feelings about the book, and liked the movie slightly better. The beginning of the book starts with Liz already in Italy, and then goes back and forth explaining how she got there. The beginning of the movie actually starts with her in Bali, on an assignment for work, where she meets with a medicine man about her unhappy marriage. He gives her a little insight on what’s to happen in the next six months to a year, and tells her she will come back to Bali to help him with his English.
This all happens in the book also, but I think what I liked best about the movie was that the story was pretty straight forward, where the book seemed to jump around a little in the beginning. In both, Liz finally has this revelation after praying to God one night on the bathroom floor, asks her husband for a divorce, and decides to take a year long journey with 4 months in Italy, 4 months in India and 4 months in Indonesia.
In the movie, the divorce seems to come a little easier. Yes her husband is fighting it, but in the book it seems to be a much longer process. The one part I was actually looking forward to seeing, which was in the book but didn’t make it in the movie, was where she was in the car with her friend Iva, complaining about this never ending divorce, when she finally said, I wish I could write a petition to God to end this divorce. Iva said to her, why not go ahead and do it. So Liz begins writing a letter to God and when she is finished Iva says to her “I would sign it.” So then Liz starts naming people she knows who would sign it, and Iva says “They just did.” So they both start rattling names of people who would sign it saying “My parents just signed it” and then going into people they don’t even know like “Bill and Hillary Clinton just signed it.” For some reason this part just made me laugh, especially when shortly after this Liz gets a call from her lawyer that her now ex-husband just signed the papers and that Liz is officially divorced. Just shows how great God can be when you believe.
In the movie, I think I enjoyed the Italy section the best. I especially enjoyed the friendship Liz made with a Swedish girl named Sophie. My favorite part of the movie was when they were trying on new jeans because they had both eaten so much pasta in Italy they now both had muffin tops! So they had to get fat girl jeans. It was comical watching them trying to zip up each other’s jeans in the dressing room.
Although I didn’t hate it, the India section was my least favorite section in both the movie and the book. It was not as exciting for me and a little long and boring. I really enjoyed the friendship she built with Richard from Texas in this section. I pictured him a little different in the book than what he turned out to be in the movie. I pictured a guy resembling a cowboy, but he didn’t really seem like he was from Texas to me in the movie, and I didn’t think he had that much of an accent either. He seemed a little harsher in the movie than in the book, and I think I enjoyed him more in the book.
The Indonesia section was my favorite in the book, although I did enjoy it in the movie as well, but I enjoyed the book better. In this section, Liz meets and falls for a guy named Felipe from Brazil. In the book, he was this very wildly romantic guy who totally falls for Liz. Of course she is a little skeptic because of her divorce, and he tells her he doesn’t care if she doesn’t love him back, and even if she leaves him at the end of this journey, he doesn’t care because he will always love her. In the movie, Felipe has some caution to him because he has been divorced as well (he was divorced in the book as well), and he eventually tells her she needs to love him back or the relationship will be over. This kind of disappointed me because I just loved this wildly romantic Felipe from the book.
Also in the Indonesia section, Liz meets a friend named Wayan, a traditional Balinese healer who owns a small medical clinic. Liz stops by to see her when she has a cut that won’t heal and Wayan quickly heals her with her mix of herbs. They quickly become great friends. What I love about Wayan is that she is a great friend to Liz and isn’t afraid to talk about all kinds of things. I loved her talks about healing couples with their sex problems. She is not embarrassed to talk about some of her crazy practices for healing people, especially men and their problems with their “bananas.” They don’t really discuss this in the movie, which I think would have been pretty comical. Also, in both the book and the movie, Wayan is very poor and is about to lose her shop and home because her rent keeps going up and she cannot afford it. Liz ends up raising money to help her buy a home. Wayan is very grateful, but in the book, she is very hesitant to purchase a home and she keeps coming up with excuses on why she can’t buy this property or that one. You begin to think she is going to take advantage of Liz and run away with all of this money that Liz has raised (although thankfully she doesn’t). In the movie, Wayan quickly buys a piece of land and begins to build a home. I figured the movie was already long enough and didn’t need this drawn out story of them trying to convince Wayan to buy something.
Overall, there were some parts of the book that I didn’t care for. I really enjoyed hearing about all the different relationships Liz has built during her journey. There were some parts where she was trying to figure herself out and kept rambling on and on, and I didn’t care much for that. There was one part in Italy where she was having a discussion with this depression character and another where she is writing letters to what you assume is God, and he is writing back to her through herself (if that makes sense), and you figure she has a ton of crazy things going on in her head, but it all gets kind of confusing and a little boring. I kept finding myself quickly skimming over those parts. The nice thing about this book is that each of the 3 sections is divided into 36 chapters, which adds up to 108. This represent the 108 beads of a japa malas which was the inspiration for the rosary for the Europeans. Each of these chapters was pretty short, so it was easy to skim over parts that weren’t that interesting because they were very short.
Overall I was happy to have read the book and watched the movie. I think I might want to see the movie again to see if I have missed anything, but will probably wait until it comes out at Red Box where I can rent it for a dollar. The book took me a little longer to get through, which surprised me, and I have heard mixed reviews about both the movie and the book. I wouldn’t say that either of them were my favorite book/movie of all times, but they weren’t awful. I would say watch the movie at the very least, maybe rent it. Anyone else like or dislike the book/movie?