Eat Pray Love: Book or Movie?

Eat Pray Love is written by Elizabeth Gilbert. The book focuses on her personal journey on a trip around the world after a divorce and heartbreak. This book has also been adapted into a movie back in 2010.

I am little behind on the Eat Pray Love bandwagon. I watched the movie first about a year ago (9 years after it’s release) and just finished the book last week. Ever since the movie was announced, I wanted to read the book and see the movie, but I just never got around to it until recently.

Since I watched the movie first, when I read the book I was picturing Julia Roberts running around Italy, India, and Indonesia. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as I am a very visual person! I think it helped me enjoy the book more.

The Movie

The movie focuses more on the timeline and story than the book. It lets you feel like you are there with her experiencing everything! The scenery and backdrops in the movie are breathtaking. It made me want to travel even more than I already do (which is saying a lot!).

The movie is all about the experience and actions of her journey. Yes, it talks about the struggles she is dealing with and the healing that takes place. But, the depth of her spiritual and emotional transformation from the book isn’t carried over. I mean, never in the history of book to movie adaptations does the movie match the book in depth or explanation. I just hoped for more after reading the book.

The funny thing is, I enjoyed the movie more before I read the book than after. As a stand alone entity, the movie is amazing. Watching it after reading the book, I found myself asking out loud where the book went and did this actually happen because now I don’t remember. Although I did find it rather comical after reading the book that James Franco played David since she raved about him in her book (Or maybe that was her book Big Magic? Oh well, still funny).

Overall, the movie touches your heart and makes you want to travel. It takes you to the cobblestone streets of Italy, the Ashram in India, and the beauty of Indonesia. Part of me wants to take a trip like this of my own and the other part just wants to spend all year in Italy enjoying the pleasures of life. I think my favorite part of the movie is when she is in Italy and her new friends are teaching her hand gestures only Italians would understand. It’s both educational and entertaining!

The Book

The book is a wonderful reflection of what the author experienced on her journey around the world. You get more of what she was feeling at every moment and her reflection on how those moments changed her perspective. I found myself learning more than just being entertained. That’s maybe the best way for me to describe the difference between the movie and the book. The movie is entertaining and the book is inspiring.

The relationships she creates along the way are so fun to read about and immerse yourself in like you are now one of their friends too. Her learning to trust others and herself is very apparent throughout the whole book. Now, in many ways I don’t relate to her story at all. I’m not divorced, trying to find myself again, or starting my life over. But yet, she still wrote the book in a way that I related to her story.

I definitely enjoyed the book more after watching the movie. It was like getting a little taste of it all before really digging in and getting the full story. Kind of like watching a trailer before going to see the movie. So, I have to say that the combo of both the movie and book is really the way to go. Just decide which one to enjoy first as it will change how you view the other!