The movie is mostly on the same lines as the book. However, it does vary in rather frustrating aspects. Where, in the book Gilbert spends only a few pages on her divorce and wanting to travel, in the movie Gilbert spends a grueling 45 minutes in New York. Consequently the viewer is silently begging her to move ahead and get on the plane out of NYC.
Gilbert then goes to Italy where she indulges in pastas like they were going out of fashion. But, where in the book Gilbert tries to find herself and her identity in solitude, in the movie Gilbert is shown to be enjoying by socializing. From Italy, Gilbert moves to India where yet again, on the advice of someone else, she joins an ashram and tried to find strength and a sense of identity through prays. After 3 short months of inner reflection in India, she goes to Bali, Indonesia where she meets a Brazilian businessman - Javier Bardem and falls in love.
Julia Roberts does a wonderful job as a witty and exuberant Liz Gilbert. However, where it could be fun to spend a year travelling with Liz Gilbert, it isn’t much fun watching a 2 and a half hour long movie all about her and the good men thrown her way. The movie is all about Gilbert, her journey, her ambitions, and the good luck she has in finding decent men, most of whom she turns down or leaves. She funds her entire trip on an advance given to her by her publisher, who hopes a years’ worth of exploits will make a good read.
The cinematography is beautiful, with rich and exquisite landscapes shown throughout the film, especially towards the end in Bali. But the gigantic running time, tests the patience of even the most loyal viewer. Unfortunately, the movie is a long and dreary version of the book, with the spot light shining firmly on Liz Gilbert’s every whim and fancy. Worth a watch for Julia Robert fans, but be prepared to sit through the entire length of the movie, which could get tedious.