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Eat Pray Love

First slide

Off-kilter values underlie this fact-based narrative of a travel writer's (Julia Roberts) self-initiated divorce (from Billy Crudup), brief affair with a much younger actor (James Franco) and yearlong quest for enlightenment and self-understanding via Italian cuisine, Hindu spirituality (under the guidance of Richard Jenkins) and romance with a Brazilian expatriate (Javier Bardem) living in Bali. Director and co-writer Ryan Murphy's overlong, ultimately exhausting screen version of Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling 2006 memoir displays an ambivalent attitude toward marriage, ignores Christianity as a source of insight and revolves around an interminably navel-gazing central figure. That figure, along the path of her pampered pilgrimage, confuses psychobabble for wisdom.

Watch out for: Complex religious themes, acceptability of divorce, nonmarital and premarital situations, rear nudity, some sexual humor, an obscene gesture, a few uses of profanity, at least one rough and a half-dozen crude terms.

Rated: L; MPAA: PG-13

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2010