The movie Eat Pray Love may be all about character Elizabeth Gilbert’s quest for self-fulfillment, but the “Eat” portion, set in Rome and Naples, is all about being full.
The food scenes are gorgeous (truly food porn)—icy gelatos, huge plates of spaghetti glistening with red sauce and perfectly fresh basil, platters of squash blossoms, rabbit ragù, pale-pink prosciutto with the ripest orange melon slices, spring-green stalks of asparagus, and rich, gooey pizza. You can almost smell the aromas.
I saw the move last night at a screening. (I’ll let the critics duke out its merits.) But if you’re one of author Liz Gilbert’s seven million plus fans (often called Lizbians) and head to the movie, which starts on Friday, you may want to eat first. Not only will the food scenes stir your appetite, you’ll be in the theater a while. The running time is 133 minutes (though the “Love” part is brightened considerably by the appearance of Javier Bardem).
Even before the movie opens, news reports detail the numbers of women re-tracing the footsteps of Gilbert (played by Julia Roberts) as she travels to Italy, India, and Bali—including her food stops. Evidently, Il Gelato di San Crispino is seeing an influx of single female tourists, often clutching Gilbert's memoir EPL, stopping by for a cold treat.
There’s also been a discussion about the “controversial pasta scenes”—the controversy being women and their relationship with food. The film’s director Ryan Murphy is quoted as saying, “in our culture right now, there’s so much guilt around food and appetite, so having a scene where a woman eats with unabashed joy is amazing and lovely."