Okay, I admit it, I have watched Eat, Pray & Love, a couple of times. I also admit that as soon as the movie starts, I skip to where Roberts is in Italy, so I can look at the buildings and watch the actors flip off the bad drivers and annoying people. I’m half Italian and it took years for me to stop talking with my hands, so it’s fun to see people do it and not get yelled at. After she leaves Italy, I skip to a couple of the parts with Javier Bardem because…well, just because. After I watch a few minutes of him, I turn off the movie. All in all, I probably watch about fifteen or twenty minutes of the entire film and this is why: every single thing Roberts does in the film would seem ordinary, if there wasn’t a camera on her, taking CLOSE UPS. If we weren’t watching her slurp up her pasta, she would just be a person sitting alone, at an outdoor cafe, eating pasta (like everyone else). We sit and eat pasta too, although I don’t look around, while I’m eating, waiting for the carb police to attack, but hey, that’s her problem. The thing is, if someone took close ups of us eating pasta, and then we watched the pictures of ourselves eating pasta, it would be weird, sure, but it would make a difference in how we felt, about ourselves eating pasta.
The weirdest part is when she buys the purple nightie and then makes her egg, puts everything on the floor and sits, in the most uncomfortable position imaginable, to eat and read the paper, Notice, that when she picks up the paper (another close up), the sound it makes is magnified and captures the viewer’s imagination. Anyway, I’ve see that part twice and I laughed both times. Maybe I’m just not a romantic, but then I wouldn’t ride on a motorcycle, in winter, wearing only lingerie, while holding on to a guy fully clothed and wearing a jacket and gloves, (yes, I have seen that in ads, and yes I do wonder about the mental stability of the woman). The point is, shots of a person dropping an egg in water is not truly noteworthy. As a matter of fact, I made made lunch for my cousin today and nothing I did seemed to grab her attention at all. I loving took rolls out of the oven…nothing…I made a beautiful salad, she didn’t even flinch. The chocolate cake, with Ben & Jerry ice-cream, covered in dark chocolate sauce was good, but she never once asked if she could take a soft focus, close up picture of it…instead, she just ate it. I admit, I didn’t have background music on, and the lighting may not have been perfect, but I don’t think that would have mattered in the least, because we were in the real world and that kind of takes the close up’s out of the picture (I think the pun was intended).
People fall in love with things they see on the screen, even though they know it’s a fantasy. Think about it, Julia Roberts has an egg and asparagus while sitting on the floor in an apartment where the ceiling is held up by scaffolding, the walls are peeling (chic), and she has to fill the bathtub with a tea kettle, oh, and she can’t have boys in her room. But there she is, reading the paper in her nightgown, while sitting in a truly uncomfortable position, alone. Show of hands…how many of you would rent a place like that? A TEA KETTLE? No BOYS? If we did any of that stuff at home…LOLOL…never mind. It’s only interesting because we are watching her, close up in shadowed lighting. And yes, I do know that the film is based on a book and I do know that the character is finding herself and doing things for herself. In spite of that, um, I don’t think so. I’m just sayin’.
Okay, Bardem is reason enough to watch the movie, but if anyone of us went to Italy, or India, I doubt we would find lifelong friends, fall in love, garner enough birthday money to help someone build a house, or learn fluent Italian from an amazing teacher in a couple of weeks, but again, I could be wrong.
And then there’s Under the Tuscan Sun. I love Under the Tuscan Sun. I do. The photography is fabulous and the house fabulous. The actors are perfect. It’s a movie. They eat together, fall in love and it’s all caught on camera. How many people go to Tuscany, stop the tour bus, buy a house and never come back to their homeland, wherever that might be? Even if people did do those things, how many of them would meet the perfect person to help them hire people to remodel their house, save them, time and time again, and watch over them until they were settled? Maybe I’m just jaded and that kind of thing happens all the time, I’m not sure. I haven’t done any research on the subject.
Having said that…my cousin and I are going to Italy:) And Paris (again for me). I’m not going to buy a house or eat alone on the floor, at least I don’t think I’m going to do those things, unless I meet up with Bardem and he thinks it’s a good idea. That’s probably a long shot though, something that only happens in the movies. Although, last time I was in Paris, a waiter kept telling he loved me. He drew a lovely heart on my receipt, every time I ate there, and when I walked by the restaurant (it was on the corner by the hotel) he blew kisses at me and told me he loved me again and again. I guess that’s something. He didn’t look anything like Bardem, but I don’t look anything like Julia Roberts. Every single male I saw in Paris was GQ material, so he was still adorable. Anyway, it was fun and non threatening. Okay, moving on….
When I go to Italy, I’m going to start talking with my hands again and that’s okay, because all the people who used to yell at me for doing it are dead, so I don’t think they care any longer. I’m hoping it’s like riding a bicycle and the movements will suddenly be there, when I need them. If I use my hands, I think people will know what I’m saying, even if I don’t speak Italian. I have the head movements and facial expressions down to a science, so that’s not a problem. I’m Sicilian, and I have an attitude, granted it’s a Chicago attitude, but it’s an attitude all the same. I’m half Swedish, and I guess that a should count for something, but in reality, the Swedish part of me just sits quietly and doesn’t bother anyone. She thinks about Lingonberries, delicately cut out paper goods and lovely desserts with power sugar on top.
We were originally going to go to Palermo, to find our long lost relatives, since that’s where our grandparents are from, but there’s not much to do there, at least for me, and I’m not good at doing nothing. You can climb a live volcano or take a cooking class but, uh, NO. I’ve seen fabulous PBS shows on volcanos and I usually eat off of a napkin, or out of a potato chip bag so, that won’t work for me. Besides, I want someone to cook FOR me, so I can eat something besides pb & j sandwiches all the time.
I’m excited to go to the Vatican. My cousin and I are both anxious to see if it explodes, or just falls down, when I get close to the buildings. I’m thinking the stained glass windows will implode and that will be it. I don’t think I’m bad enough to bring down the buildings, but only time will tell. The truth is, I just want to see the pigeons, but I’m going to let my cousin sweat it out until the last minute, because that’s what cousins are for. She’s reserved and orderly. She can tell me what the money means and read the maps. I, on the other hand, will get her to loosen up and have some fun. We both have our areas of expertise and they rarely overlap, so that’s a good thing. This is the first time we will be going anywhere together in our entire lives, and I’m not sure how things will turn out, but she’s quiet and unlikely to kill me. She cannot say the same for me. Our parents are dead and only our kids will know if one of us doesn’t come home. I think I’ll be the survivor, if things go bad, but there is that old saying, “Watch out for the quiet ones.”