This past weekend the multiplexes had something for everyone, the under 30 crowd had a very clever comic book style ,coming of age film with Micheal Cera, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”, the women had Julia Roberts in “Eat, Pray,Love”, and the guys had an old fashioned explosion-fest, “The Expendables” with Sylvester Stallone and his action hero co-stars. Stallone proved triumphant with 35 million dollars at the Box Office, which will handily cover the steroid expenses (kidding).
Ryan Murphy’s film, based on the mega best-seller, Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” might have captured the more men viewers if it had been titled “Eat,Sex, Sleep” but it does capture the essence of Gilbert’s struggle for independence,(which is always easier if you have the means, a book advance, to achieve it). Julia Roberts does a nice job of suppressing her megawatt smile though most of the picture, although my wife and I could see Laura Linney or Patricia Clarkson as a better casting choice. Julia has fine support from Billy Crudup and James Franco as husband to be divorced and rebound boyfriend, respectively, and Javier Bardem as the Brazilian hunk in Bali who seemingly provides one of the answers she’s looking for. Ryan Murphy is the genius behind TV’s “Glee”, but this has an entirely different feel to it. He does a nice job with the scenery and telling the story as fans of the book will remember.
The real highlight of the film is the performance of one of my favorite actors, Richard Jenkins (“The Visitor”). His portrayal of the Texan, Richard, who befriends Gilbert at the Indian Ashram, should get him a second Oscar Nomination this year.