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August 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Several critics are giving Eat Pray Love, starring Julia Roberts, an even tougher going-over than they are to The Expendables. Even Roberts, who generally receives fine notices from them, can’t escape their darts. “Twenty years ago, even 10 years ago, the role of Liz would have been played by Meryl Streep, who has the rare gift of elevating insubstantial material, a gift that Roberts lacks,” writes Peter Howell in the Toronto Star. Lou Lumenick in the New York Post writes: “A year-long, around-the-world quest for self-fulfillment that basically goes nowhere, Eat Pray Love is a very shallow, very glossy 2 1/2-hour travelogue starring a miscast Julia Roberts as a spoiled, self-centered divorcée who decides to get away from it all.” Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune dismisses the movie, based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-seller as “a travelogue with a little spiritual questing on the side.” Or as Claudia Puig describes it in USA Today: “The whole journey feels like a rich girl gone slumming. And for those of us along for the ride, it’s a bit of a slog.” On the other hand, the film does receive a number of solid notices. Chris Vognar in the Dallas Morning News remarks that as “a film critic with an X and Y chromosome, I got caught up in the modern sensibility of this rare female quest movie.” And Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times advises moviegoers not to forget the Kleenex when going to see this film. “There will be tears,” she writes. “Happy tears, sad tears, tears of relief, tears of regret, gut-wrenching sobs, really almost any variation imaginable — and that’s just the guy in the next row who didn’t think he’d need Kleenex in a movie, ever.”

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