Monday, October 11, 2010

Eat, pray, love and screw you, sexist dickhead.

It happens sometimes that a film feels more personal just because we are in a certain frame of mind when we watch it. When I was younger, I even thought the universe was guiding me through films. That sounds like a statement a schizophrenic might make, but here lies the beauty of blogs, you can write whatever you want and there won't be any people in white coats knocking on the door. I've been over my Coelhian phase for many years now. I've stopped looking for signs from the universe and started looking for guidance within. That's why a film that was given one star by athinorama and a rating of 4.8 by IMDB left me baffled. Is there something seriously wrong with my judgement or has the cinema-going world something against easily digestible stories of self-discovery?

The film I'm referring to is Eat, Pray, Love (2010). The title reminds me a little of my much earlier -and much too brief, thank God!- Buscaglian phase of Living, Loving and Learning. Although I can't stand the sappiness of that book and anyone who quotes from it, I found Eat, Pray, Love much more agreeable. Granted, when everything falls apart around us and we feel we don't know ourselves any more, when we don't understand the choices we've made and we realise something fundamental has to change, we don't all go to Rome to eat, India to meditate and Bali to fall in love. Most of us go to therapy, although, truth be told, travelling the world might work out cheaper.

The film is not a masterpiece, but the cast is good -who could have anything against Richard Jenkins?- and the photography, for us who like glare, was great and not surprisingly so since it was the work of Robert Richardson. The script has a number of satisfyingly clever lines and even though the direction won't make it into any books, it was more than decent.

So be honest, people. What is it? Why does even Runaway Bride (1999), which was a completely mindless film, have a better rating? Is it because Julia Roberts looks older? Because she doesn't have the figure she had twenty years ago? Is it because the film doesn't fit into our 'romantic comedy' expectations? Is it because the protagonist had a relationship with a much younger man? Or is it because it's preposterous for a woman to go through a crisis? To abandon a man who loves her because she has lost herself in the relationship?

Let me quote a man who kindly left his review on imbd: 'This woman should be the scourge of the Earth and should receive social contempt for her behavior. However, like most romcoms the female can hurt everyone she knows if it will aid her superficial quest for some kind of make believe fulfillment and then, like Stockholm Syndrome, all her victims will forgive her or tell her she is the most important thing in the world and her happiness comes before anybody or anything else. I can't believe men are still depicted as the heartless characters in films when every romcom depicts evil as good. This movie made me cringe. I was forced to see it with mom, sister and wife. I told them all that the film literally made me sick. They agreed. This sort of behavior that is being engendered into women is sickening. Women who believe such a film represents anything positive about anything need to have their head checked for borderline personality disorder. Men need to stop treating women like little precious pieces of glass when those same women are not pieces of glass, are not these cute little powerless creatures but are instead, like Liz in the movie, arrogant, snotty, pampered, privileged, rude, morally bankrupt, conniving, selfish dolts who believe that their superficial happiness is worth any emotional cost to other people.'

This is just one review, but I have a feeling this guy is not the only one who feels this way. Why is a woman's quest for self-discovery so threatening? Why should women feel obliged to stay with men just because they are being loved? Or was it the fact that she was financially independent and therefore more able to leave her husband that bothered this guy? The feminist in me has the outline of a book all figured out as a response, but I won't go there. I'll go and have some wonderful food instead, just like any run-of-the-mill woman with a borderline personality disorder. I tell you, it's a tough life for us wackos!


  1. super pen

  2. Devils Advocate11/12/10 11:14

    It could be argued that the critic is ranting on like that because he's been hurt, and is just venting very, very inappropriately.

    Ranting aside, notions like "Men need to stop treating women like little precious pieces of glass (...)" could be seen as being on the feminist side.

    Haven't seen the film though ;)