Eye candy. The gorgeousness of Italy, India and Bali + Julia Roberts + virile men=entertaining movie. The Texan was longsuffering to accompany me to Eat, Pray, Love. He shussshed me while hitting me in the solar plexus as I shouted out of the cool movie darkness “Yes, I LOVE you and will stay in Bali and make hot monkey love with you!!” Hel-lo, people: it was Javier Bar-frikkin’-dem!! I was helplessly tangled in his testosteroney web……
We discussed the movie’s theme over dinner. Something gnawed at our guts and didn’t ring true. The movie was basically about ‘finding yourself’. Julia leaving her ‘we’ve grown apart’ marriage, her less-than-exciting writing job (though it looks pretty thrilling to me), her boring life and friends/family and embarking on an exciting journey of self discovery and self revelation. Along the way, she gets to meet impossibly beautiful people, slurp mountains of pasta, meditate and chant (to a friendly, yet distant Indian guru) in a fun foreign language while wearing colorful Indian clothes and spiffy beads, and she gets to heal herself with the sweet balm of Bali’s waters while in the arms of Javier Bar-frikkin’-dem. Sound perfect? I declare it Hollywood Pablum. Here’s why:
1. If I go ‘looking for myself’, what do I find? I’m serious….what do I find? What do YOU find? Don’t all of us find a highly flawed individual in need of forgiveness? A sinner standin’ in the need of prayer? Think of the money saved not having to travel for a year to figure this one out!
2. I could kinda relate to wanting to ‘get away from it all’ because I’ve had those feelings. As a young person, I wanted to hop on trains and just ride them wherever they were headed-leave Del City in the rear-view mirror. Jump on board and go SOMEwhere. It sounded fun, thrilling, and dan-ger-ous. It had to be better than where I was. It sounds crazy, but if you knew me back then you would sympathize. I never did hop a train, though. Throughout the movie, I kept wondering, Where’s Julia’s mother, her father, sisters, brothers, aunts/uncles, mother-in-law, best friends, her church group? How can she check out on all these important people? Of course, family and friends can drive you crazy….that’s their job. They care for you the most, too. How do you walk out on that?
3. Isn’t life best lived by LOSING yourself? Not denying your basic psychological make-up, but rather not having your time on earth dominated by an overruling primary concern for self. I’m here, not exactly sure why or how I got here…but it’s important I make the most of it, see the beauty in it, and I grow spiritually when I ask, How can I help? rather than What exactly are you going to do for me?
4. There are not enough ticks on the clock to accomplish all the things I KNOW I should be doing in a day. There are folks in my family, my own little sphere of influence, who could use some love, a kind word, a pan of lasagna, help getting to the doctor, someone to sing at their loved one’s funeral, someone to tell them it’s gonna be OK, or someone to listen to their heart-breaking story. I don’t have to take one step out of my town to find them. I could, but I don’t have to leave to find meaning.
5. For inspiration, maybe I could try opening the dusty holy book on my nightstand more often? An inexpensive and savvy start. No chanting, beads, expensive mats…just me and the book.
Can’t end this post without telling you how much I loved the actor who played the Texan during Julia’s time in India. He had the most human and flawed character in the movie. He talked of love, forgiveness and letting go. He had a lengthy, emotional monologue about regret and the difficulty of self-forgiveness. He will win an Academy Award. He was stunning…turning on plenty of faucet-eyes in the theater. I tightly gripped the seat arms. HE was worth the price of admission. OK, maybe twice the price of admission. He was THAT good.
See the movie for Richard Jenkins. If you see it, tell me if you agree or disagree with these points.
Can’t wait to show you some gorgeous things next week.
Enjoy, love and forgive your fine self….wherever you are this weekend!