Director: Ryan Murphy.
Cast: Julia Roberts, Richard Jenkins, Javier Bardem, Viola Davis, Billy Crudup, James Franco.
FILMS don't come much more chick flick than this adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's chick-lit mega-seller about her mid-life crisis and subsequent global search for happiness.
Most men will want to run for the hills, as Julia Roberts' first solo lead role in a decade is aimed squarely at the female of the species.
Based on Gilbert's real-life experiences, it follows Liz (Roberts) as she ends an unfulfilling marriage and goes on a quest to put some spark, zest and meaning back in her existence.
It leads her to spend time eating in Italy, praying in India and (you guessed it) loving in Indonesia - strangely, her reasons for picking those three countries is almost arbitrary and did not involve randomly opening a Nations Of The World book and stopping on the 'I' chapter.
It's no wonder Oprah Winfrey championed Gilbert's source novel as the film is full of the kind of life advice the TV host has been spouting for more than 20 years. However, the poignancy of the film's pop-philosophising rates from 'Hallmark Greeting Card' to "Horoscope Vague" and it's triteness and constant self-rationalisation grates quickly, although it's hard to knock the overall vibe of the message about seeing the world, taking time out for yourself and making a change if you're unhappy.
Liz waivers between being sympathetic and pathetic, but Roberts' performance is never short of the mark and she carries Eat Pray Love's heavy load to perfection. Her supporting cast is great too, particularly Jenkins', whose amusingly pushy Richard proves to be the most interesting character of the film.
Murphy, who proved a deft hand at turning the difficult novel Running With Scissors into an entertaining movie, captures the spirit of the three destinations well, only occasionally making it feel like a travelogue. Each section has its dragging moments - particularly Italy - but the episodic structure flows nicely for much of its duration
Eat Pray Love succeeds because it pretty much achieves what it sets out to do, hitting its target demographic right between the eyes, but in the same way that a self-help book may appeal to thousands, it will never be great literature.