Monday, August 23, 2010

Am I the only one who hates "Eat, Pray, Love"?

This book was all over the media a few years ago as this profound guide to spiritual enlightenment, so I picked up a copy. I got through about 80 pages and couldn't take anymore. I wanted to scream, "How can something so pretentious and narcissistic be so popular?! I want my twelve bucks back, Ms. Gilbert!"

Maybe I'm just jealous because I had babies before I got to do any traveling or self-discovery. But to me the whole book had this disingenuous "Watch me be spiritual!" vibe to it. (Maybe I'm being unfair. Maybe it wasn't the whole book, just the first part that I read.)

Now the movie's out and everyone's raving about it, and I'll admit it looks somewhat appealing, if for no other reason just so I can fantasize about what it would be like to take a yearlong trip around the world, sans enfants. And I do like Julia Roberts.

*sigh*  Back to laundry...

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22 comments:

  1. Yes! I hate it! Though I'm actually reading it right now. The writing is fair and I somewhat enjoyed the first section, mostly the factual information about Italy. But it was steadily downhill from there; now I'm at the end of the book and just trying to get through it.

    If there's anything I've learned from this book, it's how great it would be to cheat on my husband and have a mental breakdown even though I have almost no responsibilities so some big fancy publishing company can pay me $200,000 to live abroad. It's possible that I'm just jealous, too.

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  2. http://www.reddit.com/r/entertainment/comments/d3ihc/eat_pray_love_julia_roberts_downs_a_lot_of_carbs/c0xhhhv?context=3

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  3. I'm just kinda incredulous about it all. Maybe it's some Mormon residual taboos about sex, but what I couldn't believe from hearing about Gilbert's story is that...*she* cheated...but now she's the one to whom we look as an example of the spiritually enlightened?

    Basically, what Chandelle said in her second paragraph.

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  4. Okay, I'm glad it's not just me.

    Measure, thanks for the link. I'll look at some Roman architecture on the internet and call it good.

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  5. I do understand suddenly realizing that the relationship you're in is not right for you and not working, but why do you get to take a trip around the world?

    Okay, it's official. I am insanely jealous.

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  6. It looked awful. I'm hating it just based on the previews, and probably won't see it.

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  7. As a male, I did NOT read the book, but did read a synopsis of said book. I find the glaring double standard to be inexcusable! Had a man taken the SAME trip/time/divorce/ETC... He would be vilified and branded a shameful man! But when it's a woman "bored in her marriage" we hold her up as some kind of beacon of womanhood, and it just makes me sick! Do all women operate on this double standard? Or are some of you ladies getting this undercurrent message that "it's ok for ME, but heaven help him if HE does it!!!" I'm just really pissed off about this...

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  8. I - on the other hand - can't stand Julia Roberts. I feel quite sick in my throat just thinking about her. If she's in the film addaption of this book. Forget about it!

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  9. bluepheonix,

    I've actually heard the double standard complaint from the opposite side. (Albeit, people haven't raised the trip aspect).

    When I have mentioned that I think Gilbert's affair was shameful, people responded to me, "If any man were unhappy in his marriage and had an affair, you wouldn't be so outraged." (I don't think this is necessarily the case, but the point they were trying to make is that we are far more "desensitized" to male infidelity).

    I think the reason someone would consider a man going on a trip like Gilbert's shameful is because people don't like the idea of men exploring food, sex, and spirituality. If it were like extreme hiking, i don't think anyone would bat an eye. Gender stereotypes seem more to blame.

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  10. I haven't read the book or seen the movie, but my wife read about half of it. She didn't like it because she thought the woman was a self-indulgent child (or something like that).

    I think she's holding the author to the same standard she would a man doing a similar thing.

    I'm extrapolating that her lack of empathy must mean that our marriage doesn't affect her in a way that the many women that connect with this story must feel. One can hope... :)

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  11. I'm not a huge fan of people deciding that self indulgence = self discovery. Peter Pan syndrome is not an exclusively male condition.

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  12. Rhacodactylus - if there's a good marriage, this discussion should be on the table. My wife and I have struggled with 'Peter Pan syndrome' from time to time. Life is generally a long series of responsibilities. It can get quite tedious and boring. Unless you're independently wealthy, jetissoning your responsibilities is either impractical or irresponsible though.

    I do think that men tend to act out on this more. I can't say whether they experience it more or not of course.

    Given all of that, I can't relate it to the book/movie because I haven't read/seen it.

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. I thought about ordering the book but read some reviews and excerpts suggesting it was fairly self-absorbed. That gets old fast. I like books that are thought-provoking and real, not staged and commissioned on a $200K travel budget.

    I believe I may enjoy the movie, however. I do like Julia Roberts. I'll have to do some more research first ....

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  15. wow, you hit a nerve, yeah?

    i've no interest in this--book, movie, whatever. it does seem pretentious. and yeah, i am prejudging. assuming. all that.

    and yeah, waaay jealous of her year off. not that i'd want a *year* off, but seriously: where'd she get the money? 'cause i could totally get all up in that.

    but no i'm not gonna read the book to find out ;)

    i dunno though. if the right people (or just SOME people) wanted to do a movie night out, i'd probably go. but i'm desperate, you see.

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  16. Lisa, she got the money from the $200K advance from the publishing company. So it was like she went in there and was all, "My husband wants everything in the divorce and my lover thinks I'm clingy so I'm gonna compulsively overeat, get righteously enlightened, and then lay a hot Brazilian dude, and then I'll write a book that will sell a million copies because rich white ladies eat this shit UP right now. What I'm trying to say is that YOU'RE gonna get rich, publishing company! If you send me on this trip! All three, I mean!" And the publishing company was like, "Your advance is IN THE MAIL, beeyotch! Better come through on that Brazilian."

    Or at least that's what I imagine it was like.

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  17. Chandelle, that's about how I imagine it went down too! :-)

    I actually went and watched it last night. Please still be my friend!

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  18. Hi Leah,
    I too was unable to get into this tale of epic narcissism. And based on "Committed," the author came back from her sojourn an even bigger dingdong than when she left! I hope you'll check out my blog, The Town of Mercia, which is devoted to science, religion, and bogus spirituality. You may especially like "Spiritual Author Sues Town Into Next Week," http://townofmercia.blogspot.com/2010/03/mercia-lantern-spiritual-author-sues.html
    Best regards, Cornelia

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  19. Hi Leah,
    I too was unable to get into this tale of epic narcissism. And based on "Committed," the author came back from her sojourn an even bigger dingdong than when she left! I hope you'll check out my blog, The Town of Mercia, which is devoted to science, religion, and bogus spirituality. You may especially like "Spiritual Author Sues Town Into Next Week," http://townofmercia.blogspot.com/2010/03/mercia-lantern-spiritual-author-sues.html
    Best regards, Cornelia

    ReplyDelete
  20. As a male, I did NOT read the book, but did read a synopsis of said book. I find the glaring double standard to be inexcusable! Had a man taken the SAME trip/time/divorce/ETC... He would be vilified and branded a shameful man! But when it's a woman "bored in her marriage" we hold her up as some kind of beacon of womanhood, and it just makes me sick! Do all women operate on this double standard? Or are some of you ladies getting this undercurrent message that "it's ok for ME, but heaven help him if HE does it!!!" I'm just really pissed off about this...

    ReplyDelete
  21. wow, you hit a nerve, yeah?

    i've no interest in this--book, movie, whatever. it does seem pretentious. and yeah, i am prejudging. assuming. all that.

    and yeah, waaay jealous of her year off. not that i'd want a *year* off, but seriously: where'd she get the money? 'cause i could totally get all up in that.

    but no i'm not gonna read the book to find out ;)

    i dunno though. if the right people (or just SOME people) wanted to do a movie night out, i'd probably go. but i'm desperate, you see.

    ReplyDelete
  22. http://www.reddit.com/r/entertainment/comments/d3ihc/eat_pray_love_julia_roberts_downs_a_lot_of_carbs/c0xhhhv?context=3

    ReplyDelete

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