Anatomy of a Trailer: Eat, Pray, Love

I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir Eat, Pray, Love a couple of years ago, when I was going through a particularly rough patch in my own life.  (I think it is the closest I will EVER come to reading a self-help book.)  Without going into too much detail, I liked it.  Sure, the narrator was a tad whiny and self-absorbed at times.  I also thought that the heavy-handed, kind of preachy (no pun intended), “Pray” section could have been downsized a bit.  However, it was a fast, at-times humorous, and life-affirming read.  And, yes, it did help me a bit with what I was going through at the time.

When I heard they were making the memoir into a movie, and that Julia Roberts had been cast in the “Liz” role,  I was a bit surprised.  The author’s inner struggles just didn’t seem as though they would translate that well to the big screen.  Plus, Julia Roberts seemed too strong, and a bit too long in the tooth, to play the story’s vulnerable and fragile early 30-something protagonist.  I’d always pictured someone more like Kate Winslet in the role.

But, of course, I could be wrong.  It’s not a bad trailer.  The location shots are gorgeous.  Plus, the makeup artists and film stylists did a fairly decent job making Julia Roberts look younger, wispier, and blonder than I have seen her in a while.   And . . . well . . . maybe I should just shut up, and show you the trailer  . . .

:12 – It’s Mr. Miyagi from those old Karate Kid movies!

 . . . oh, wait . . . that’s not him.

:35 –  “When some guy who . . . yes . . . looks a little like Yoda, hands you a prophecy, you have to respond.”

“May the force of big box office bucks be with you, Julia.”

:40 – The wise and sassy best friend . . . a requirement for all Chick Flicks, since the dawn of time.

Because chicks LOVE sassy and wise friends.

:43 – Interesting sidenote:  Did you know that the writer of Eat, Pray, Love was the free-spirited table-dancing bartender who penned the GQ article that inspired this movie?

To be honest, after reading this book, I wouldn’t have thought she had it in her . . . I guess people can change . . .

:58 – “Your underwear, my queen.”

Granny panties

Oh, James Franco, always looking perpetually stoned, no matter what movie you’re in!

I still love you, though . . .

1:19 – This “Julia in a bathtub” scene totally reminds me of that scene from Pretty Woman.

You know, the one where she sings  “Kiss” by Prince, amidst a sea of bubbles . . .

Coincidentally, the film Pretty Woman turned 20 this week.

Another year, and it will be old enough for me to take it bar hopping, without a fake ID . . .

1:42 – Since I was a little girl, I always had a thing for elephants, and secretly wanted one for a pet.

So cute!

It’s probably never going to work out for me, though.  For one thing, I don’t think I could find a pooper scooper big enough (or toilet, for that matter . . .)

2:06 – Who knew Javier Bardem was such a hottie, underneath all that bad No Country for Old Men hair?

But wait, wasn’t Liz’s Bali lover (and now husband) supposed to be older than her?  Like in his 50’s?

Eat, Pray, Love hits theaters August 13, 2010.  Will YOU see it?

16 Comments

Filed under Book, love, Movie Trailer Recaplets

16 responses to “Anatomy of a Trailer: Eat, Pray, Love

  1. All I can say is that the trailer makes me glad I had my life, and not hers. I’ve probably traveled more, but without the “baggage.” Thanks for sharing that trailer. It has saved me reading the book.

    • Thanks so much for popping in and commenting waltzingaustralia!

      I’m happy to have saved you some reading time. 🙂 Yes, the conclusion of Eat, Pray, Love is a tad on the predictable side (as evidenced by the trailer). I imagine the book would not have sold as well (or became a movie starring an A-list actress), if it ended with “Liz” still being miserable, depressed and alone.

      I often read books that have movie adaptations. My theory in selecting them is that SOMEONE must have liked it enough to make it into a movie; so, it can’t be ALL bad. Of course, even when I enjoy these books, I often find I can’t bring myself to see the movie afterward. At best, the movie will be redundant. At worst, disappointing. Sometimes, however, I DO see the movie, and am pleasantly surprised . . .

      Can I assume, from your name that you are an Aussie? I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Australia and am tad obsessed with your awesome accents. 🙂 Maybe one day, I will get to go.

      Unfortunately, unlike you, I haven’t had much of an opportunity to travel (with or without baggage). But, I guess it’s never too late to start . . .

  2. Greetings, Julie.

    As you’ve discovered now from visiting my blog, I’m not from Australia, just in love with it. I share your love of the accent — and I’d love to encourage your desire to visit. It’s a splendid destination.

    And no — it’s never too late to start traveling. Feel free to ask for suggestions or advice if you need help getting motivated. I love getting people on the road. And because I’m self-employed, I’ve learned how to do it the most cost-effective way possible.

    However, until you can hit the open road, books are a great way to travel — and you don’t need shots.

  3. Amazon Annie

    Thanks for the trailer Jewls….I am a sucker for that kind of movie. Happy endings…well…they make me happy! After just watching Hurt Locker I could use a few laughs and some good looking men and women. (Although, with our without the bad hairdo…Javier Bardem does NOT do it for me! Always fun reading your blog. Keep up the good work

    • Whatever this movie ends up being, Amazon Annie. Rest assured, for better or worse, it will be NOTHING like Hurt Locker. 🙂

      However, based solely on the trailer, as waltzingaustralia noted, the pre-travel first half of the film seems like a bit of a downer. The book definitely dealt with Liz’s failed relationships and depression. However, it seems as though the film might spend proportionately MORE time on it, seeing as it took up about half the trailer (and they cast James Franco in one of the “not right for Liz” male roles — he’s not exactly a one-line kind of actor).

      But I’m often wrong about these things, so who knows. Plus, I guess it is comforting to see a movie where you know that ultimately everybody lives happily ever after. Not to mention the EATING! There’s simply not enough eating in films, in my opinion – probably because most actors and actresses just DON’T DO IT.

      Thanks for commenting, and enjoy the film!

  4. Amazon Annie

    You’re right about the eating thing! I have a great idea. They should cast ME as the body double for all the eating scenes in every movie. I’m so VERY good at it!

    • LOL, Amazon Annie. I am phoning Julia Roberts’ agent as we speak. 🙂

      It may be too late to cast the body double for Eat, Pray, Love. However, Elizabeth Gilbert recently published a sequel to the novel. And if they make that into a movie, Julia Roberts might have to EAT there too . . .

  5. LOL. I love the comment about eating in films. Have you seen The Big Night? It’s one of the great foodie movies of all time. There was some great food in Spanglish — plus a cameo performance by Thomas Keller, one of the planet’s greatest chefs. Babette’s Feast is a classic. And, of course, this last year we had Julie and Julia. So it looks like eating on films is increasing, slowly by steadily.

    • I LOVED Big Night! What a fun foodie film! (Between Julie and Julia and Big Night, Stanley Tucci is quickly becoming a food film icon – an “eating actor” in Hollywood – a rare creature, indeed!) 🙂

      I also really enjoyed Spanglish (one of Sandler’s best roles, in my opinion), and Julie and Julia. You are absolutely right, Meryl Streep’s Julia Child was not afraid to be shown eating on screen. Amy Adam’s Julie didn’t get to eat quite as much, but she sure cooked a lot. That has to count for something ;).

      Speaking of book to film adaptations, I haven’t had a chance to read either of Julie Powell’s books. Have you read them? Do you think they are worthwhile?

  6. I have Childs’s “My Life in France” on my “to read” list, but friends of mine who have ready Julie Powell’s book have generally commented that they didn’t really like Julie in the book, so I figure it’s one less book I have to worry about (since I’m already not going to live long enough to read everything I want to read).

    I agree with you about Spanglish — I think it’s definitely Sandler’s moving role. And I love your observation about Stanley Tucci. That would be a fun criterion to have in one’s contract; “There has to be really good food at some point in the movie.”

    • You know, I heard the same thing about Julie Powell’s books. And she DID come off a tad whiny and needy in the movie. I feel a bit bad about saying this, seeing as Julie Powell is a “real person” and not really a “character” in the typical sense of the term. Then again, in this blog entry, I said precisely the same thing about Elizabeth Gilbert. And she’s “real” too.

      I guess readers’ personal criticisms, both of your personality and life choices, are part of the risks you take when writing a memoir. Having “met” you (at least blog-wise), I can tell that you will NOT come off the way THEY did in your memoir. You seem very level-headed and down-to-earth. And that’s a good thing. 🙂

      I’m not quite sure how I would come off, if asked to recount my own life on paper. And am a bit frightened to find out. This might be why I mainly stick to pop culture commentary and fiction in my writings . . .

      Thanks again for stopping by. I’ve had a lot of fun communicating with you through our blogs, and feel as though I know you already.

  7. Thanks. I think, based on your writing here, that you’d probably come across fine in a memoir. But face it, we’re not going to like everyone we meet. My friend who didn’t like the Julie Powell book said the thing she didn’t like was that when Powell’s husband, who had terrible stomach problems, ended up in the bathroom throwing up for days on end because of all the French food, Powell would get mad at him. And Julia Child herself didn’t like Powell’s book, finding the language pretty rough. I’ve actually seen Powell in a couple of TV interviews, and I don’t get the feeling we’d be best buddies — but that said, she is a clever writer. I might not dislike the book — but I already own at least 500 books I’m having trouble getting to, so you have to pick something to narrow the field, and most of my serious foodie friends say that if you have to pick one, go with “My Life in France.”

  8. oh wow, after reading this i think we really might have been separated at birth 😀 elephants are my all time favorite animal (i’ve got a giant cloth painting of ganesha up on my wall & countless pieces of jewelry with little pink elephants on them!)

    also, Javier Bardem is one Spaniard (and an amazingly talented actor–Mar Adentro is one of my favorite movies ever, although he’s wearing some pretty intense old man makeup in that movie too.)

    • It’s so nice to FINALLY meet another elephant lover, Lola! I remember when I was about 4, everyone in my preschool class had to cut out pictures of their favorite animals for a classroom collage. All of my classmates cut out pictures of furry puppies and kittens. I chose a big massive grey elephant that wouldn’t fit on the paper. They had to cut his body off! And you know how I feel about animal mutilation . . . (even the paper kind).

      It looks like I have to catch up on my Javier Bardem film-watching. I never saw Mar Adentro. I also haven’t seen Vicky Christina Barcelona yet, although I very much enjoyed Javier in the trailer . . . 😉

  9. ^^^(sorry i meant to say Javier Bardem is one HOT Spaniard!) sorry 😀

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