Unseen Movie/Unread Book Review: Eat Pray Love

I recently saw a commercial for the movie Eat Pray Love. I said, “This is the sort of thing that makes me embarrassed to be a white lady, just like Sex and the City does.” Because Julia Roberts is all oh man, I’ve been too busy with husbands and life partners to find out who I really am and I am totally going to take a year off of work and travel around and let the darker, poorer people of the world show me the meaning of life. And then she’s all in India and there’s actually a shot where she can’t zip up her jeans ’cause she’s been “eating” so much and I think she spends a lot of time peering off into the middle distance just Feeling It, whitely. It used to be enough for white ladies to just wear cardigans with cuffs that cover half their hands and cradle gigantic mugs of tea while looking out onto Puget Sound in movies, but now they must take some serious Me Time in the form of spiritual tourism. It makes me want to kick the asses of whoever wrote that thing and everyone involved in the making of this “movie.”

A few months ago, a friend of mine (who is very seriously committed to her religious discipline) and I both discovered that 1) we had both been given this book, 2) actually disliked the cover, to begin with, and 3) read, like, a page before tossing it across the room. Both of us. And we were so thrilled to discover that we both contact-hated the thing and both kind of appalled that well-intentioned people thought we might like it. Now that it’s a movie, the torture just continues. I just saw an ad that said that there are limited-edition Eat Pray Love fragrances coming out to coincide with the movie and I read that Julia Roberts had to gain weight for the role by eating “entire pizzas.”

Eat Pray Love franchise: to quote another white American lady, Liz Phair, every time I see that stupid logo “It makes me want to wrap you up in plastic / toss you up and pump you full of lead.” I am sorry, Rest of the World. We white American ladies are all not such huge assholes that we like this stuff.

Mary Valle lives in Baltimore and is the author of Cancer Doesn't Give a Shit About Your Stupid Attitude: Reflections on Cancer and Catholicism. She blogs on KtB as The Communicant. For more Mary, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.