Julia Roberts’ Advice On “Eat Pray Love”
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
My wife often wakes me up at 3 in the morning to ask me the Meaning of Life. She gets philosophical at early hours. I’ve recently taken to answering, “More sleep.”
Once I screened “Monty Python’s Meaning of Life” for her, but the movie’s funny visage of the Grim Reaper didn’t satisfy her query. Perhaps I’ll take her to see the new Julia Roberts film.
Julia Roberts sets off to discover the Meaning of Life in “Eat Pray Love,” the new romantic drama that’s currently playing at the Tropic Cinema. Hm, maybe the title is a giveaway to her answer?
Based on the 2006 memoir “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia,” it chronicles author Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey around the world after a divorce and what she learned during her travels.
In the Julia Roberts movie version, it includes falling in love with Felip, a character played by fellow Academy Award-winner Javier Bardem.
“I was a little terrified to be around him after ‘No Country for Old men,” Julia confesses. “I said to him near the end, ‘You know, I thought you’d be so intense and weird, and I’d have to be like, handling you, but you’re just so sweet and funny, and it’s just so easy!’ And he said, ‘I’m not like that normally. I just wanted to try it once to see how it worked!’”
She laughs at his jest. “It was like deciding to get a puppy,” she describes working with Bardem. “You have everything in your house worked out, and then the puppy comes in, and you’re like, I’m way too tired to have a puppy. He came in with all this gusto and enthusiasm and he wanted to read the scenes and go over some stuff. And then you realize no, this is getting good, let’s have lunch, let’s go over scenes, let’s look over the stuff! And his excitement was so contagious.”
“Eat Pray Love” also stars Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, and James Franco. Billy Crudup plays the former husband.
The filming was not without some mishap. Hindu leaders insisted on spiritual consultants to make sure “Eat Pray Love” did not mis-portray life in an Ashram. And Balinese officials were upset that few Balinese actors were used in the movie.
Julia concentrated on the first part of the title: eating. Her favorite food from around the world? “Italy, I mean, really I have to say, they did go to great elaborate pains to make food that I had to eat endlessly in the heat. So there was this one plate of pasta that was simple spaghetti. It was delicious.”
Director Ryan Murphy claims she gained 10 pounds. “It was a little less than that,” she insists. “But I loved every pound, and everyone said it was going to drop right off in India, and that didn't happen. I didn’t get that memo.”
As for the second part of the title, Julia Roberts confirms her conversion to Hinduism after experiencing a spiritual awakening while shooting in India.
Some observers point out that Julia Roberts’ production company is called Red Om Films, a sacred symbol in Hinduism. But it’s actually her husband’s name spelled backwards. Maybe that covers the third part of the movie’s title.
So what are Julia Roberts’ personal thoughts on the Meaning of Life? “Talk to your mother,” she says wisely. “Get your mother to tell you what she really knows, and don't take advice from actors. We don’t know anything.”
[from Solares Hill]