Because I just got back from seeing Eat, Pray, Love and—besides the panic attacks I’m having over such trivial things as being terrified to love again, what’s going to happen next in my career and how I’ve been flying a lot, but don’t quite think I’m ready to hop a plane all the way to Bali—I’m very busy wondering what Elizabeth Gilbert thinks.
About what they did to her book.
I mean, the movie was good. I catharted (that thumping you hear is my pulse). Julia is very, very good. Javier is salivatory.
But there was so much missing.
Yes, it was a 2.5 hour movie. Yes, they couldn’t possibly fit it all in. No, they couldn’t really make her look fat and then thin (though they did make Brad Pitt age backwards, so…). No, she never sat in the palm of God’s hand.
All of these things and about a hundred more are making me wonder what E.G. really thinks. Not what she said on Oprah. But what she says to Felipe. And to her writer friends. Does each and every speck of criticism make her want to grab the megaphone and holler, “Well, of course you didn’t see my transformation! They left 70% of it out of the movie!”
They really did. They left a massive portion of the meat and the guts of the story where it originally belonged—on the word-ridden floor of Gilbert’s book. Because how do you capture thought processes, that are so voluptuous and intricate, on screen?
I mean, I travel through 100s of miles of convoluted mazes of complexity and land on epiphany every morning. But to the passersby, I simply look like I’m running down the street.
Which is why, when Hollywood (or Diablo Cody, if I were to really have my way), comes to me and begs for my movie rights, I might sell out for millions and just pray that people also do the reading. Or I might demand the best screenwriter and a co-screenwriting gig. Or I might say, “Hmmm… It’s just that, oftentimes, words really do tell the best stories.”
Image credit: rauchdickson (and don’t judge me for putting needlepoint on my blog)