Now, let me explain. When you're married, or some girl's boyfriend, you have to occasionally make a concession and go to a movie that you would normally have rather wrenched your own tongue out with some rusty pliers than patronise with so much as a slightly damp sneeze. Hopefully, if it's a good relationship, they in turn will go see some gun-toting, pony-tail sporting, loud-mouth movie and if it's a great relationship some really disturbingly graphic porn.
I am one of the very lucky ones as my wife loves zombie films and introduced me to the true joys of Stallone. Most of the time when we see a movie we generally agree on the major parts of it and just occasionally she likes tat that I wouldn't waft my anal emissions at, usually featuring Patrick Dempsey or something.
Luckily with Cough Fart Snooze, sorry Eat Pray Love, we were more or less on the same page.
Ok, so, where to begin? First of all this movie is 17 hours long. It would be quicker to personally travel to Italy, India and Bali on the back of a wheezing dromedary than watch Julia Roberts do it in the cinema. I had seen the trailer for the film a handful of times and had thought "ok, so I am going to get dragged to this and that's fine, I like Roberts and there's bound to be some interesting shots of exotic countries I can enjoy" but unfortunately that wasn't really the case because instead of making the most of each of these fascinating locations she goes to and at least giving us the odd montage of Julia gayly skipping amongst the ruins of Rome, enjoying the incense of India and basking on or bathing off the beaches in Bali, what we in fact get is a lot of self important whiny folk blathering on and on about their home-spun, knocked-off, mosaic philosophies while Roberts, with a seemingly endless supply of cash stuffs her face or blubs her eyes out, self-importantly.
Which segues beautifully into my second point and that is why on earth, mars and the moon should I give two shakes of a bison's doo-dah about this woman's life?
The film begins and she's married, apparently unhappily but it's never fully established why, something to do with him wanting to do some more education and her wanting to swan about in designer clothes drinking a lot of fancy foaming beverages while she selfishly bleeds her friends dry of all of their love and support. She then quickly hops into bed with the first vacuous, odious, eastern-religion spouting, scruffy wanna-be, hemp chewing teenager she can find (James Franco disappointingly back in glassy eyed annoying as all hell mode) before quickly realising he's not right either, again it's not established or explained why, and deciding out-of-the-blue to travel to three different places in the world but not because she has any genuine or apparent passion to do so but just because some toothless, ancient, barmy Bali dweller gave her some hokey palm reading months back and that's as good a reason as any.
Glossing over for the moment how the hell an unemployed writer can afford such a ridiculous trip after an expensive divorce and the fact that I am meant to, but couldn't possibly, care for this directionless bimbo who whines about things most people would sell their aunties and parakeets to have long enough to become that disenchanted with, the real crime here is that this movie got made at all.
From all that I have heard the source material is even more devoid of human tact and understanding than the film is and I know in times of crisis people want escape but who thought anyone, when in the depths of the current recession, would want to watch this self-involved millionaire writhe around in linguine, hindu and Javier Bardem for 100 hours!
Maybe I am weird, old before my time, particularly bright or just plain perceptive but the so-called lesson that she apparently learns on the beaches of Bali with Mr.Perfect Bardem and his predictable past with trust issues, I knew and understood about 10 years ago and it didn't take an all expenses trip around the world, a lot of naval gazing and some waffly eastern mysticism to achieve either.
The sad thing is I have met these whining sorts for whom the discontinuation of their favourite colour of lip gloss is a suicide-worthy event and so this movie will probably appeal to quite a few, also the trailer makes it look possibly watchable and interesting so some will be fooled like us.
The one thing I would say is that if you started to watch the film from half way through (about the time that Richard Jenkins shows up - never a disappointment) and she's in India trying to get her ducks in a row then the film would be almost enjoyable, some of the scenes in Bali make you wish you had a bottomless pot of gold so you too could flounce about the street markets full of mad fruit, the bamboo huts and billowing white sheets and gaze out at the fishing boat bombing sea. Javier Bardem also acts the hell out of a cliche but occasionally genuinely emotional role.
Finally, because of all of that, by the end of this whole hideous debacle I did leave the cinema feeling good, smug and in dire need of something containing soy milk and guava so I guess, it sort of did its job.
2.5 out of 10 Turkey clubs
Points from the Misses - 4 out of 10 Turkey clubs