This film adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling memoir is a superficial globetrot in which pretty people talk about Hard Truths in pretty locations.
Julia Roberts is the travel writer whose encounter with a puckish guru in Bali prompts her, when home in New York, to end her marriage and examine her priorities. She embarks on a series of sojourns: in Italy (to regain an appetite for life), India (to meditate at an ashram), and Bali (to recharge under the tutelage of the guru).
Ryan Murphy is not so much a director as an event planner, providing backdrops against which his cast can make their speeches, and sprinkling Hollywood fairy dust in the form of glowing slivers of light that kiss the contours of his leading lady and her acolytes. Javier Bardem, as a Brazilian bon vivant, is a shot of adrenaline in the final act, but the overriding romance in Eat, Pray, Love is the camera's love affair with Julia Roberts.