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Movie Review

Eat Pray Love also known as “Eat, Pray, Love,” “Come, reza, ama,” “Comer, Rezar, Amar,” “Mangia, prega, ama,” “Spis—elsk—lev”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language, some sexual references and male rear nudity.

Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Drama
Length:
2 hr. 13 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
August 13, 2010 (wide—2,800+ theaters)
DVD: November 23, 2010
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Relevant Issues
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TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Adultery in the Bible

Sin

Righteousness

Fornication

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

My boyfriend wants to have sex. I don’t want to lose him. What should I do? Answer

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

Divorce

DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE—Under what conditions may Christians divorce and remarry? Answer

Divorce in the Bible

Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.
Occult

What is the Occult? Answer

THE OCCULT—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

God

God

How can we know there’s a God? Answer

What if the cosmos is all that there is? Answer

If God made everything, who made God? Answer

What does God say? Answer

Is Jesus Christ God? Answer

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions?
Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer


Will all mankind eventually be saved? Answer

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?
Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer
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Featuring: Julia Roberts (Elizabeth Gilbert), James Franco (David), Javier Bardem (Felipe), Billy Crudup (Steven), Viola Davis (Delia), Richard Jenkins (Richard), more »
Director: Ryan Murphy—“Nip/Tuck” TV series, “Running with Scissors,” “Glee”
Producer: Columbia Pictures, Plan B Entertainment, Red Om Films, Syzygy Productions, Brad Pitt, more »
Distributor: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

“Let your self go”

In Mark 10, Jesus tells a parable. In the story, a man is quite wealthy and haa produced a good number of crops. However, none of this satisfied him. Instead of being grateful for his fortune, he selfishly thought of how he didn’t have enough space to store all of his goods. So, he decided to tear down his existing barns and to rebuild bigger ones in order to store everything he has. This satisfied the man, since he now had enough possessions to last for several years. After this, his motto became to “Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry.”

Jesus then states that God told the rich man that his life would be taken that very night, and the Lord then asked him who would get everything he had stored up for himself. Jesus ended the parable with a very wise warning:

“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich towards God.”

As I sat in the theater, reviewing this film, the aforementioned parable immediately came to mind, as I began to witness the astonishing parallels. The film is based on the same-titled memoir Eat, Pray, Love which is about writer Liz Gilbert who indeed does have a blessed life, but still remains unhappy and decides to travel. By this journey, she plans on enjoying life, food, and finding herself within spirituality and meditation.

Before going any further, I should state that I have never read Gilbert’s bestselling memoir, nor have I seen any of her interviews. So I cannot make any comments towards the memoir or the author, since I never heard or read her own words. This is especially important when considering how Hollywood usually takes varying liberties when it comes to creating a film from a novel. So any critiques come from my viewing of the film.

“Eat, Pray Love” begins with a six-month prologue, where a medicine man in Bali reads Liz’s palm and tells her future. Back in New York, Liz is a writer who’s beginning to feel increasingly unhappy in her marriage. While her husband is sweet, he’s awkward with babies, does not enjoy traveling as much as Liz does, and he still hasn’t made up his mind on which direction his life should take. After one conversation with a friend, he contemplates returning to graduate school to become a teacher, much to the dismay of Liz.

Seeing her marriage at a crossroad, Liz tearfully prays to God and asks for a sign on what to do. Upon returning to bed, her husband turns to her and states that he doesn’t want to go with her on her latest trip. Taking this as a sign, Liz leaves him, begins an affair with a young actor, and eventually decides to travel to Italy, India, and then Bali.

The journey follows the movie’s title. Italy is almost all about delicious, gourmet food, where weight gaining is a novelty and embraced. In India, Liz lives in a Hindu temple, as she learns to control her mind and heal her wounds by meditation. In the final stop in Bali, Liz revisits the medicine man and completes the circle by finding love with a man who’s also healing from a divorce.

The character of Liz Gilbert comes across as selfish and, at times, childish. With this, she remains very unrelatable during the entire movie. She leaves behind a devoted husband, and, in one scene, even yells at her dedicated friend that she feels nothing for her since she’s so unhappy. I’m quite certain we’ve all come to a place in life where we question how we ended up where we are—or doubting our marriage when we see the pair of dirty socks on the floor for the 5th year in a row. However, that is still no excuse to treat others harshly and to suddenly give up on a marriage. During the divorce proceedings, Billy Crudup does an excellent job in portraying the very hurt husband who pleads with Liz to stay with him. She provides some meager excuses, but to no avail. He calls her a quitter, repeatedly and even sings it. At the end of the film, it shows him with a new wife and baby. I wonder if this was in the memoir. My personal opinion is that this was merely added to help sell the false notion that Liz completely blindsiding her husband with a divorce was actually a good thing.

The movie was originally rated R, but an appeal moved it down to the more bankable PG-13 rating. In all, there are over 16 uses of profanity, including one ‘mf’ and 1 ‘GD’. A little Italian girl flips off Liz and her friends. There’s a montage of Italian gestures and their translations, with a few meaning “screw you.”

While there are no sex scenes, they’re implied with Liz lying in bed with different men and with the shutting of a door. Casual sex is a norm and heavily saturates the film’s conversations and jokes, from beginning to end. And while in Bali, several say “Everyone should have a sexual affair while in Bali.”

While partying and drinking, Liz meets a man whom she follows onto the beach. He then strips to go skinny dipping; the camera lingers on his backside for quite a long time. Some couples are shown kissing on streets; during one of these, the man is shown going under the woman’s shirt, the camera turns away right before he touches her breast. There are several low-cut dresses and shirts throughout the film.

The film’s main offense is its false spiritual message, which is very heavy throughout the film. The entire premise of the film is based on the prophecy the medicine man told Liz during the palm reading. There are several scenes of meditation, worshiping and singing to a Hindu guru and the temple’s idols. There’s also a lot of talk of “god.” Would this higher power include the God of the Bible? Absolutely not. During her first prayer, Liz asks “god” to give her a sign, which she takes to divorce her husband. The Christian God himself says in Malachi, “I hate divorce.” No, there are not many paths to God. There is only one, Jesus Christ. Is this my opinion? No. And my opinion doesn’t matter, only what the Scripture states. One of the more popular verses is when Jesus himself said,

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

In 1 John, the disciple wrote: “No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

The Indian Hindus are very open to Jesus and had asked where our God was, assuming He, too, was some tangible object. They were willing to worship him along with their other idols. It took them a while to understand that the Heavenly Father is not made from perishable, man-made materials. Throughout the entire Old Testament, God clearly expresses his disdain of idols and the foolishness of worshiping them (Habakkuk 2:18-19, and my favorite and a definite read Isaiah 44:6-21). Acts 17 would also be a great read, where Luke wrote in great detail of how Paul witnesses to the religious city of Athens that was full of idols, even one for the “unknown God.”

Christians should stay far away from this movie. Gilbert traveled around the world searching and found nothing. There’s truly no redeemable quality to this film. The most positive aspect? Julia Roberts looks gorgeous and carries the film well. My main point is that though “god” is used in several different contexts today, the holy God of the Bible should never be grouped with them. I even know some Christians who believe that “all paths lead to the same place.” This isn’t true; ironically even I used to believe this before becoming a Christian. I could try to spend pages discrediting the film’s spiritual message, but the answers lie within Scripture, which all Christians should study diligently. The film preaches that God is within all, is all, and he doesn’t care what we do. If this were true, the world would be in big trouble. This is why the Lord defined what righteousness and sin are and gave us the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This is an intense movie, rather deep psychologically—what we go through to become independent and find ourselves yet give ourselves to someone else. It really made me think about my life, BUT it upholds Eastern religions, her praying to some lady in India, she leaves her husband and sleeps with different men.

The movie is very well made with the filming but its sad to see how some people who are “searching” in their life may see this and want to pursue what she was pursuing in India with a false religion. I did learn a lot from the movie, and it was very good, besides those major issues. There were a lot of funny parts, but a lot of tear jerkers. I definitely don’t think guys will like it as much as women, because it’s all about her selfish girl power—then finally surrendering at the end.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Barb, age 35 (USA)
Positive—It shows one’s own personal journey to find God, and ultimately happiness.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Mr. Gregory Rodriguez, age 30 (USA)
Positive—Before I tell you what I thought of the movie, let me tell you that I am a Christian. I am a child of God, and believe that he died on the cross for my sins. Having watched the movie and after reading the review, I have to say that the reviewer completely missed out on the Christian parallels in this movie. …

“Eat, Pray, Love” isn’t Anti-Christian. Once you get into the meat of the story and look around the religion aspect, it in fact parallels Christianity. Liz is searching for happiness, she has searched in accolades, men, and yes even food, and while these things make her happy for a while, she is not really whole. In a simple small act of desperation she prays to God and asks him to show her the way. It is not until she does some actual soul searching that she finds and accepts God. Liz travels to India to study in an Ashram, hoping to find her answers in and meditation and yet she struggles to find that. This isn’t unlike a Christian who is searching for God in the same places and yet does not find him there. Liz meditates and struggles with the monotony of it, she does not find happiness in it. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—CR, age 35 (USA)
Positive—Your review of “Eat Pray Love” is ridiculous… “God” is many things to many different people—who are you to decide what “God” told Elizabeth Gilbert? God, also, gave us brains to use. A relationship with “God” is a personal one. It is 2010—not 1940. The realities of our culture today are what they are. Divorce, sex and other moral “issues” are happening everyday. We cannot turn our heads or pretend the issues do not exist. Ms. Gilbert was not happy in her marriage. That is not a crime. I admire her gumption to do something about her life and find out what it takes to make her happy. I just don’t believe that God would put us on this Earth to be unhappy. I found this movie to be very “real life” full of soul searching and love and peace and about forgiveness—which is what “God” talks about all the time. Go see it. It is worth your time and money. I would not recommend for anyone under 18.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jeananne Hawking, age 47 (USA)
Editor’s response—We agree that God did not put mankind on Earth to be unhappy. Please read the following helpful, relevant Christian Answers articles that deal with the assumptions you mentioned (and those in the film):

Neutral—I would like to write a response to the review by Jeananne Hawking, age 47 (USA). Jeananne wrote, “God” is many things to many different people—who are you to decide what “God” told Elizabeth Gilbert? I want to point out, based on my observation, the reviewer did not “decide” what God told Elizabeth Gilbert, but rather pointed out the difference between how God’s revealed word (the Bible) defines spiritual reality, and the falsehood presented in this movie.

I am very thankful for the accurate spiritual Truth I have found consistently presented by the reviewers on Christian Spotlight, as this has enabled me to filter and spare my family from being exposed to the many cultural perversions that I do not wish to support as a consumer.

You, Jeananne, have revealed by your statement about “God,” that you are either an atheist or agnostic, at best, because you have defined God as a mere “concept” created by people for their own psychological edification, rather than as the only all-powerful and sovereign Creator of the entire universe.

Such a view of a “higher power” is good for nothing but false hopes and manipulative justification for an entirely “self-centric” view of life. When any person’s life has been reduced to the pursuit of personal gratification and happiness as the highest goal, it is no wonder that the very thing you’re searching for (fulfillment) has eluded you.

If you do not know the one and only true God, through a personal relationship with his son Jesus Christ that is based on true faith and repentance, then you can never experience the true joy and fulfillment that God offers to every one of us as His creation through that relationship.

I pray that some day you will come to realize your need for a real relationship with God, and for forgiveness of your sin, so that you can experience the true joy and fulfillment that God is offering you …which is so different from the false hopes and endless pursuits that are so typical of our world today.
—Harry, age 39 (USA)

Neutral—I have just read the review by Jeananne Hawking, age 47 (USA) and really find the comments made unfair to the reviewer of this movie. This is a Web site that Christians can visit to check to see if the movie they are interested in is offensive or not based on biblical teaching. Therefore, the reviewer is expected to expose materials like divorce, foul language, sex, etc.

Just because this day and age is so perverted does not mean that sin in movies is now acceptable, and reviewers must be afraid to be honest about the content in a movie. I hope that remarks like Jeananne’s are not placed on this Web site going forward, as it degrades the Web site’s credibility and goes against honest Christian reviews of movies.
—Marc, age 31 (South Africa)

Neutral
Neutral—I think that some Christians here take things a bit too far. As a Bible believing, born again Christian who loves Jesus with all my heart, I trust God to speak to my heart while watching any film. At times during the movie, I felt sorry for those who do worship idols and men, those who have been deceived by falsity. But you cannot talk out against them unless you know about them. I felt closer to God because of the full trust that I have in my relationship with God. What I cringed at was the meditation and idol worship scenes and explanations, but only because I know how they suck people in. I was glad I saw this movie, because now I know what to pray against.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jacqui, age 37 (Australia)
Neutral—I have to say—I am SUPER grateful for this Web site to highlight the Cons of this movie “Eat Pray Love”… Honestly, I LOVED this movie—I watched it three times in the cinema and several times at home. I felt as though I was traveling vicariously… I wanted to see the world. The photography is delightful. The fantasy is mesmerizing… I was entranced by the poetic nature—the colors, etc… and never really stopped to check what God would think of this film. Which is why I’m super grateful to the reviewers.

I have been caught up in fantastical thinking about “god”—confused, really by the language about “god”—not realizing that while people are using similar words—we really are talking about very different things. I honestly could feel a disconnect, but consciously had not pinpointed the errors or really understood the Falseness of each thing—and reading this review really shows me how being mesmerized by Hollywood is a bit of a trap.

So, in terms of moviemaking—I love this movie—it’s big, it’s emotional—it’s “transformative”—I really was transported. But I never realized that maybe it was filling my head with nonsense. And I question my own silliness in loving this movie.

I really will use this site more often to check back on movies—especially since sometimes I am an abstract thinker—and I am moved by “Eat Pray Love”—not because I want to pray in an Ashram or divorce a husband—or any of those things—I learned a long time ago that 90% of movies is pure garbage—but I tend to just skim through movies for small inspiration? maybe that is a wrong habit, too. I have been extremely restrictive about my movie watching/tv watching, because I find that most stuff is just junk! so sad!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Elvia, age 41 (USA)
Negative
Negative—I agree with the writer of the editorial and should have listened to my daughter who advised me not to go because of the movie’s non-Christian message. Not only does the movie send all the wrong messages (god is within us all and we are god; casual sex is okay; selfish indulgence is okay, etc.), but the “enlightenment” she finds is totally trivial and meaningless. I have never found God’s answers to inner struggles and woundings to be anything like the trivial enlightenment Julia Robert’s character found in her journey through hedonism and Eastern mysticism.

After seeing several of Julia’s past movies, I really think I can expect little quality from her future ones in terms of the morality or depth of the message.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Louise, age 63 (Canada)
Negative—I went with my Bible study small group to see this movie (all girls), and, honestly, we came out saying “that is what I expected.” We expected it to not be Christian-based and rather offensive, which it was. I would not suggest seeing it, even though I love Julia Roberts. It really is about selfishness and promotes independence. So much so that Liz was hurting the people closest to her, as well as herself. I was reluctant to call it offensive, because I didn’t want a chick flick to be considered offensive. However, us ladies need to wake up and censor what we watch, rather than just our husbands and boyfriends!

So to you ladies, save your time, money, and the comparison (Liz to you). I say skip it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Jessica, age 20 (USA)
Negative—I read the book before watching the film, and, to top it off, I had just come out of a trial in my marriage, where I, too, thought about leaving my family to start over. Though I could identify with the emotions of wanting to escape, I chose to cling to God and His truth and stay in my marriage. (Dynamic Marriage was a great tool, btw.) Elizabeth did not. I agree she was selfish, and I’m certain that opinion flies in the face of most modern feminist women. I can say that she was selfish, because I had the same thoughts.

I loved the scenes of the cities, the colors, the food; it was all beautiful. I did not like how she referred to herself, in the book, that she considered herself a Christian, then pursued several paths to get to God. I liked the idea of meditation—God did say “be still and know that I am God,” [but] her meditation led her to the God of Self, that inner voice telling her to forgive herself for walking away from her marriage.

I think Hollywood candy coated the ending with her husband happily remarried. I don’t recall reading that in the book. The book was… good and the movie was eh, if only for transporting me to Italy, India and Bali.

I would not recommend the movie to anyone, aside from being a Christian, it just wasn’t that good. It left me feeling hollow.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Candes Shewmaker, age 41 (USA)
Negative—Eat is about gluttony, Pray is about Hinduism (and praying and worshipping to some female Hindu “guru”), and Love is about her leaving her husband because she doesn’t feel like being married anymore and wants to go “find herself.” Then sleeps with some other guy right away, then ends up with another guy soon after that.

This movie will draw some women in the wrong direction, if they are not grounded in their beliefs. It teaches it’s okay to gain weight and be gluttonous, just get bigger pants, she calls her wine her therapy, it’s okay to just leave your spouse and sleep around and to pray to some woman.

Although the filming of the movie is good I am concerned about women that are confused about life and don’t know what direction to go right now. It’s a tear jerker and very emotional and is definitely not a guy flick. It’s all about girl power and women “finding themselves” which is important but not through gluttony, alcohol, fornication and praying to a guru.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Samantha, age 35 (USA)
Negative—This movie should have been titled “All About Liz.” In the movie, we see pure selfishness. The title character (Liz) does not care about destroying her marriage and crushing her husband. She only wants to satisfy her own needs. It’s a long 2½ hours of spending her money and trying to find herself.

Particularly disturbing is the New Age content. She finds her path to “God” in India, following her new Guru who is clearly worshipped in the movie. With this comes some confusing and dangerous theology. Liz decides she is god and is at one with god. She also concludes that the balance she needs is not too much god or too much self.

Nowhere in the movie is the God of the Bible talked about or worshipped. What’s sad is that she is portrayed as a hero, with her selfish pursuit worthy of a best-selling book—and now a movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Kathleen, age 58 (USA)
Negative—I went to this movie with some girlfriends as a girls’ night, because I normally enjoy Julia Roberts movies. Several times in the movie, the dialogue was shallow, empty and deceptive. Particularly when Liz is rationalizing some selfish decision. Not a good message for women, in particular, when people in our lives (children, husband, friends) need us to be selfless.

Basically, the worst part of the movie was the one-liners justifying self-absorption. I didn’t like the character because of this and found her annoying. Skip it and see something else.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Mandy, age 32 (USA)
Negative—Being an Indian (now a student in Scotland), I usually hate the way Hollywood portrays India, and this one is no different. There is little reality, and while India is praised for wisdom, philosophy and meditation—whatever—nothing comes closer to Biblical Wisdom.

This movie is a complete trash, don’t blame India or Bali for the course of life one should take or use as an excuse. Julia Robert’s character wants “something to marvel,” while ignoring the blessings she already has. In a way it’s a sad satire of modern man and woman’s tremendous purposelessness. Divorce, extra martial affairs, misguidance, everything is glorified as a new freedom. …I am glad the faithful husband got the blessing he deserved.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Cyril Thomas, age 31 (UK)
Negative—I went to see this because my wife wanted to see it. She had read the book and said that what made the book interesting was not in the movie. The Indian wedding scene was WAY TOO LONG and not that interesting. Not surprisingly, I didn’t care too much for it. I didn’t expect it to mirror Christian values, so I wasn’t disappointed when it did not. It just was not very interesting to watch. Certainly not a guy movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Joe, age 62 (USA)
Negative—Based on the title of this film, I had grand expectations about the possibilities for spreading the Word of God’s love to the general masses. I went into this film with an open heart and yet a heavy soul (my mother recently died after a long fight with lung cancer from being exposed to poisonous fumes during 9/11, where she was working as a nurse). I know there are demons in the world, and they so often seduce us and our children in the form of flashy Hollywood films, and my heart weeps for the innocents swayed from The Path by this satanry.

But, as I said, I had high hopes for this film—I too eat, love, and most certainly, Pray, and often. However, much to my disgust, the plot involved a headstrong, no doubt “feminist” intent on ruining her marriage, who subsequently goes to Italy to act out of pure gluttony, then India to worship false idols, then Bali to not only assist Satan’s helpers (Buddhist monks), but to have sexual relations out of the marriage bed.

If there is a film out there that contains more acts of pure sin, I haven’t seen it. Will pure love ever defeat the love that Satan gave??
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Sarah, age 27 (Canada)
Negative—I did not like this movie. Definitely not a guys’ movie. As a Christian I thought the movie was unbiblical on many levels. Can’t recommend it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Joe, age 63 (USA)
Negative—Read the book, and believe me, it is even worse than the movie! and yes, for the original commenter, there is no mention in the memoir that the husband later marries and has a kid. Unless that is in the next book, which to my understanding is her and the Brazilian getting married, because he gets deported from the US, and that is the only way he can be in America, and they stay together.

Not planning on reading that next book. What I also found interesting is that the author leaves the husband because SHE does not want kids, not that he is awkward with babies. There is no mention of that in the book, in fact, in the book, the impression is given that he very much wants a family, and is confused and hurt that she has lied to him for the 8 years of their marriage and claimed she did want kids.

I had to read this for a book club at Church, and it was a huge waste of my life, that is several hours I am never going to get back. I am struggling with finding discussion questions that can bring us back to the Gospel. Another member picked out this book, and I am at a total loss on how to use such utter trash to lead point us to God. Any recommendations would be helpful.

I would rather get all my teeth removed without any pain meds than spend any more time thinking about this selfish woman’s very screwed up worldview… by the way, don’t waste your time on reading the book or especially listening to it on CD, since she reads it monotone, and it is very, very bad.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Sophia, age 32 (USA)
Negative—This movie is just a teeny tiny bit of the anti-Christ apparatus again deployed on an unsuspecting Western world easily swayed to and fro and weighed down by its sin. Again, another instance of Hollywood’s continuing mission to re-program the western individual’s pre-conceived and previously held morals, ideals and beliefs. Disciples of Christ, take yer eye off the ball and BOOM, there’s Julia in all her charm and beauty to win you over and make you say “ya’know, She could be Me… Not so many who call themselves “Christian” are Disciples of Christ. I say that to those of whom criticize the editor of the movie review. Matter of fact I’d say many of you work disinfo for a living—getting over on the simple-minded. It’s all good like firewood, because in the end… JESUS SAVES.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: none
—Steve, age 37 (USA)
Negative—Having previously read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book on which the movie was based and actually enjoyed the world-travel aspect of it, I was heavily disappointed with what the film adaptation portrayed of her life and “journey.” I felt the movie did an injustice to the lives of many women struggling with disappointment in their marriages and temptations to leave reality behind in pursuit of something bigger and self-serving. If anything, the movie provided an unrealistic and acceptable alternative for women who are simply feeling “dissatisfied” in their marriages and lives—as though all it took was a simple escape—with a convenient and pleasant ending. That is NOT real life, my friends.

My husband and I saw the movie together and were so saddened by what we saw that we left halfway, which we have never done before. We are newly married, and as newlyweds, seeing that all it takes for an escape from boredom is to leave, was very disheartening to us.

There were absolutely no ramifications or consequences for sin in this movie! Her extra-marital and sexual relationship while going through her divorce was celebrated and encouraged by friends, even when she admitted it was a “rebound.” What would have been more honest and refreshing to see was a woman repentant for what she had done to her husband (whether or not she returned to him in the end), and using the trip to really solidify who she was as an individual. It really needed to show her taking ownership for her actions instead of pursuing herself. We are all sinners and make mistakes, but the saddest part of this entire movie was how much was condoned and celebrated in terms of sexuality, abandonment of promises and pleasure.

I caution women from seeing this movie and using it as justification to run when things get too hard or boring in life, because a tropical paradise, a handsome man and delicious food awaits you in the end. That is not reality.
—Meg, age 28 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I haven’t seen the movie, but a friend gave me the book to read, just after I became a Christian, she said it would be of interest to me being on a ‘spiritual journey’ and all (her words, not mine). I found it to be extremely offensive! It set me off on an investigative path to find out what this lady, Liz, actually experienced… and what I found was quite disturbing. Please read the book: Inside the New Age Nightmare by Randall N Baer and you will fully understand why Liz has been deceived into thinking she now has a wonderful relationship with God. I feel really sorry for her and everyone who has been deceived by reading her book—and by Oprah recommending and promoting it.

Sadly, all this Eastern mysticism has infiltrated the church of Christ under the New Age disguise, and we don’t know our Bibles well enough to notice it creeping in: yoga, meditation, contemplative prayer—wake up brothers and sisters; Jesus warned us about the coming deception!
—Lizel, age 30 (South Africa)