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Old 11-30-2010, 11:31 PM
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Eat Pray Love (the movie): is Elizabeth Gilbert a [expletive] or is it just me?


Watched the movie Eat Pray Love tonight. I did not read the book, nor will I read it even at gun point! So any references to the differences of the book/movie will be ignored.

Heres the gist of what I got from the movie:

Elizabeth Gilberts' husband is a doofus who needs to grow up, man up, pick a life and a career and get a real job and so on. But as far as I can tell, he doesn't cheat on his wife, hit her, do drugs/alcohol, gamble the rent away, and appears to truly love and be in love with her.

The fact that he loves and is in love with her is presented a couple of times throughout this film.

He does need to grow up, man up, and be a man and a husband is a serious fault, but when you consider how rotten some men can be with their dicks, their fists, wallets, etc., he could be a lot worse.

But Elizabeth Gilbert needs to run around the world and "find her self" even contrary to visions of her husband telling her how much he loves, needs, and misses her.

She is also told by people she meets on the way that she needs to let go and forgive herself.

From what?
5000 sucked leper cocks? A million six abortions? Little Timmy who found her loaded handgun in the brothel restroom she was working at and accidentally blew his brains out? What was she so depressed and felling guilty about? If it was about leaving her goofball husband, go back to him, insist he straighten up a bit, and resume life. He really wasn't that bad of a guy.

Or am I missing something?
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:51 PM
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In the book, Gilbert is careful to state that she is aware that there's no way she can be objective in discussing her divorce, and to state that her husband was not an ogre in any way. Her husband never appears as a character in the book, she does not discuss his behavior or him in other than very general terms.

I've heard this objection about the book and movie (which I have not watched), and frankly, do not understand it. She no longer loved him, and no longer wanted to be married to him, and felt guilty for those feelings BECAUSE of the lack of a "reason." Why on earth is it expected that she remain in a marriage that she no longer wanted, especially given that they had no children?

So her husband loves her, but she doesn't love him anymore. Why does this make her a cunt? People fall out of love. It sucks, and it sucks majorly when there's not a "reason," but she felt that to continue in a marriage that she no longer wanted was not fair to either of them.

Why is this so hard to understand?

Again, I haven't seen the movie, so I have no idea how it's portrayed there. I'm simply relating the book's discussion of the marriage/divorce issue.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:02 AM
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So her husband loves her, but she doesn't love him anymore. Why does this make her a cunt? People fall out of love. It sucks, and it sucks majorly when there's not a "reason," but she felt that to continue in a marriage that she no longer wanted was not fair to either of them.

Why is this so hard to understand?

Again, I haven't seen the movie, so I have no idea how it's portrayed there. I'm simply relating the book's discussion of the marriage/divorce issue.
I'm sure there was a reason, but she just didn't know what it was and she was too lazy or selfish to figure out what it was or attempt to fix her marriage. She comes across as spoiled by running away from her "problems" (which pale in comparison to most people's issues).
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:03 AM
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;;;;

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I did not read the book, nor will I read it even at gun point! So any references to the differences of the book/movie will be ignored.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:04 AM
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I don't intend to see the movie, or read the book. But based on the descriptions in this thread so far, she's a cunt. If her love and marriage were simply based on some random emotion that came and went with the wind, then she used the guy. Should she forgive herself for that, I don't know, but she has no business getting involved in a serious relationship again.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:05 AM
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Frankly, I think that people really don't give a damn about her reasons, because regardless of whether or not she had a "good enough" reason, they're primed to see her as a spoiled princess. I have no idea where this hatred of the protagonist came from, but it strikes me as reactive, especially when people admit they've not either read the book or seen the movie.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the book as great literature or anything. But this isn't the first time someone on these boards has called her a selfish lazy cunt for basically experiencing something that millions of people have experienced - falling out of love.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:14 AM
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I didn't see it but my mother did, and she totally thought the main character was a cunt.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:18 AM
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I'll back you up on this one, Kolga. Even more important than not wanting to stay in a loveless relationship, I think, is the issue of children. He wanted them, she didn't. That's a no-win situation.

Option A: She doesn't have kids. He misses out on something he really wants, has a hole in his life. Possibly (probably) resents her for it. He's unhappy, she's unhappy.

Option B: She has kids, for him. Maybe, possibly, she falls in love with her kids as they come and winds up a great Mom. But that's a huge risk to take--there's a real possiblity she'll resent her kids, and their dad, and there's no way the kids won't feel that. She's unhappy, the kids suffer.

Option C: They divorce. After a period of unhappiness, both have the opportunity to go get what they want.

Seems obvious to me.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:57 AM
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I'll back you up on this one, Kolga. Even more important than not wanting to stay in a loveless relationship, I think, is the issue of children. He wanted them, she didn't. That's a no-win situation.

Option A: She doesn't have kids. He misses out on something he really wants, has a hole in his life. Possibly (probably) resents her for it. He's unhappy, she's unhappy.

Option B: She has kids, for him. Maybe, possibly, she falls in love with her kids as they come and winds up a great Mom. But that's a huge risk to take--there's a real possiblity she'll resent her kids, and their dad, and there's no way the kids won't feel that. She's unhappy, the kids suffer.

Option C: They divorce. After a period of unhappiness, both have the opportunity to go get what they want.

Seems obvious to me.
You forgot the option where instead of getting married, she tells him that she is not really in love, only temporarily infatuated. Again, didn't read the book, or see the movie, that's just based on the comments in this thread of those who did. And gender is irrelevant. Men shouldn't treat women that way either.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:59 AM
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I haven't read the book/seen the movie either, but if there was a dispute over whether or not to have kids, she did the best thing she could. It would have been far more devastating in the long term for her to swallow her feelings now and then end up regretting it and resenting her children and husband.

Besides, nobody should have to stay in a relationship they don't want to be in. How long does she owe it to the guy who loves her to be unhappy? Should she live in simmering resentment for five, ten years?

Unless she knocked him unconscious, lifted his wallet, and sold his dog before fleeing in his vintage Mustang which she later abandoned at the airport, I don't think she really deserves to be called a cunt because she didn't want to be married to some dude forever.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:03 AM
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You forgot the option where instead of getting married, she tells him that she is not really in love, only temporarily infatuated. Again, didn't read the book, or see the movie, that's just based on the comments in this thread of those who did. And gender is irrelevant. Men shouldn't treat women that way either.
Unfortunately, since you didn't read the book, you're not aware that she did love him when they married, and assumed that she'd be ready for children at some point. The fact that both of these changed does not make her a cunt, and does not mean that she knew she was going to fall out of love with him when she married him.

By the time they divorced, they'd been married for six years and together for eight. If you want to blindly insist on carrying through with the mindless Gilbert-hate, feel free, but I fail to see how an eight-year relationships meets your definition of "temporarily infatuated." Unless you think that no one ever should divorce unless there's actual physical abuse or cruelty.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:05 AM
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I haven't read the book/seen the movie either, but if there was a dispute over whether or not to have kids, she did the best thing she could. It would have been far more devastating in the long term for her to swallow her feelings now and then end up regretting it and resenting her children and husband.
Do people really get married without figuring out if they both want children or not?
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:06 AM
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Do people really get married without figuring out if they both want children or not?
Yes. People get married without making sure they have the same goals all the time. And of course it's possible to change your mind, or not being 100% committed but hoping you'll get there one day.

Last edited by pepperlandgirl; 12-01-2010 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:08 AM
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Do people really get married without figuring out if they both want children or not?
Yes. All the time. And people get married thinking they want children, and then realizing some time later that they really don't. And people get married thinking that they DON'T want children, and realize some time later that they actually do. Or people change their minds. Or people change.

If anybody's actually interested in reading Gilbert's own words about her thought process regarding her marriage and not wanting children when she thought she would, it's on pages 9 - 12 of the book, which are available in free preview on Amazon.com. You can read the actual words of the actual cunt herself, explaining her terribly selfish self.

Last edited by Kolga; 12-01-2010 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:14 AM
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I'm only talking about the movie, haven't read the book and wouldn't touch it with a barge pole, but as to the character in the the movie, it's not just you. She's a profoundly self-absorbed cunt, and ditching her husband for no reason wasn't the only example. The worst was her total hypocrisy in telling a girl in India to go ahead with an arranged marriage she wants nothing to do with (after she herself ditched her husband just to go fuck some other douchebag), then stiffing her on a wedding gift by telling her that her gift was "channeling her love" at them during the ceremony. Textbook narcissist.

Incidentally, I don't know or care what her book reasons were for leaving her husband, but in the movie it was based solely on hearing voices (literally hallucinating a voice) telling her to leave. There was no indication that there was anything else wrong with the marriage. The kids thing doesn't fly with me because she knew that when she married him. That's nothing that changed. If she wasn't ok with that, she shouldn't have married him in the first place.

Incidentally, when men take off on women like that, women always see them as assholes. Chick flicks are hypocritical that way, just like they always have a double standard about infidelity (men cheat because they're evil, women cheat because the men they're with are evil).

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Old 12-01-2010, 01:45 AM
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Unfortunately, since you didn't read the book, you're not aware that she did love him when they married, and assumed that she'd be ready for children at some point. The fact that both of these changed does not make her a cunt, and does not mean that she knew she was going to fall out of love with him when she married him.

By the time they divorced, they'd been married for six years and together for eight. If you want to blindly insist on carrying through with the mindless Gilbert-hate, feel free, but I fail to see how an eight-year relationships meets your definition of "temporarily infatuated." Unless you think that no one ever should divorce unless there's actual physical abuse or cruelty.
Ok, I can buy that. Then what does she need to be forgiven for? How did she end it? If she woke up one morning, thinking 'I don't love him anymore', then took off, she's still a cunt. But if she gave it some time to make sure it wasn't a temporary uninfatuation, and squared up accounts with the guy, then that's just the way it ends sometimes. I'm not seeing much of a point to this story.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:52 AM
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She felt guilty because of what this thread is revealing - that she didn't have a "good enough" reason to leave. She did not have an affair (she started dating someone after she left her husband, and did not leave her husband for the guy). She attempted to square up accounts, and ended up giving him more than his fair share of the financial arrangements, but got a lawyer involved when he started demanding things like a 50% share of any future earnings from any future writings that she might receive.

She wrote the book just because. She's a writer. That's what she does. She had the opportunity to travel to some countries and write about it, so she did.

There wasn't anything in the book about any arranged marriage, so it sounds like (surprise surprise) the screenwriters for the movie took a hell of a lot of liberties that were designed to perpetuate the "Gilbert is a selfish cunt" belief.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:26 AM
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Yes, I'm sure that was totally the screenwriters' goal.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:54 AM
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So its a book and movie about a break-up. Not exactly the kind of thing that interests me. I can see that the way to depict her is as a 'selfish cunt', because that's how people feel when the other person breaks up with them without 'a good reason'. People tend to take sides in these things, and experience tells me at least one party has done something wrong, and isn't admitting it. But experience also tells me that when a relationship is over, the reasons don't matter anymore, you can't unring the bell.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:57 AM
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I don't know what's more shocking to me personally. The fact that someone can have an opinion on a film they haven't even seen nor read the book of:

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I haven't read the book/seen the movie either,
Or the fact that Diogenes and I agree on something:

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I'm only talking about the movie, haven't read the book and wouldn't touch it with a barge pole, but as to the character in the the movie, it's not just you. She's a profoundly self-absorbed cunt

I guess I picked the wrong week to quit drinking!
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:05 AM
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I don't think I've seen the word "cunt" on a single sdmb page so many times. Even in the BBQ Pit. It's in my head now like Hobbes the tiger and "smock".

cunt cunt
cunt cunt
cunt cunt
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:23 AM
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I stayed far away from this movie because I knew the screenwriters were going to somehow mangle the original story. They always do. EPL is a textbook example as to why one should READ THE BOOK instead of seeing the movie.

That plus I cannot stand Julia Roberts. Without even seeing the movie, I'm willing to bet her performance had a lot to do with why people upthread felt the way they did.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:31 AM
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Absolutely agree that the movie character Liz Gilbert is a self-centered narcissistic cunt.

I'm just glad the real life one isn't, at least sofar as I could glean from The Tome Which Shall Not Be Named.

This is why movies about internal process are so very very hard to get right. Has it ever worked?
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:17 AM
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I read the book, loved it, understood it/her, and identified with most of it.

The movie sounds like a total distortion and I don't plan to see it.

I'm fascinated and appalled by how many people have a strong opinion on the author when they haven't read the book OR seen the movie!

Also not a fan of Julia Roberts. Who has the bigger mouth- her or Angela on Bones?
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:51 AM
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I haven't seen the movie or read the book, but read plenty about both. The woman leaving the husband for no good reason and travelling the world? It's a vehicle for 1) Julia Roberts, and 2) travel fantasy for bored housewives stuck in Podunk, Ohio. Look at that wonderful Julia Roberts, look how rich and beautiful she is, oh, the freedom to just take off to scenic locations and have spiritual experiences and adventures in exotic lands! Elizabeth may not be a good person for dumping her husband, but there are no kids involved and she has the time and resources to go on an exotic journey. Again, a fantasy for women viewers who may have husbands they've 'fallen out of love' with, but the women viewers are more likely to go to counselling and try to make their marriages work than suddenly take off on a trip to "find themselves". Aren't they?

I've expressed myself badly, but yes, she was self-absorbed and narcissic. Tired of the marriage, so she leaves on her trip to enjoy life? Bad Elizabeth!
As long as kids weren't involved, maybe the husband is better off without the twit.

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Old 12-01-2010, 09:21 AM
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Had a chance to see a free screening during work hours; did not go.
Have a free copy sitting on the bottom of my drawer; do not want to read.

I don't know if the author is a cunt or not but if so, I don't think it's due to the divorce issue. As others have said, people fall out of love. It sucks but it happens and no one is obligated to remain in a situation that makes them unhappy, especially when there are no children involved.

I just can't scrape together any interest in anyone's, much less a financially independent, privileged person's "journey of self discovery". We all have problems; fuck off.

My company was heavily partnered with Sony and all I heard about for months was "Eat, Pray, Love" (actually "EPL", cause we're cool that way). And all I said for months is "nobody wants to hear about some entitled bitch's whirlwind tour of exotic places, cuisine and romance when they're struggling to pay their own damned mortgage.

The campaign was not the success they were hoping for.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:22 AM
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I haven't seen the movie or read the book, but read plenty about both. The woman leaving the husband for no good reason and travelling the world? It's a vehicle for 1) Julia Roberts, and 2) travel fantasy for bored housewives stuck in Podunk, Ohio. Look at that wonderful Julia Roberts, look how rich and beautiful she is, oh, the freedom to just take off to scenic locations and have spiritual experiences and adventures in exotic lands!
Of course Hollywood would market it as a travel fantasy for bored housewives! That didn't surprise me in the least. I don't know why it initially surprised me, though. It's a very "interior" book in many ways. The actual physical journeys are secondary to what's going on in her head. For once I thought maybe Hollywood would, you know realize this and therefore make the film into something other than bored housewife Lifetime-type schlock.

Quote:
Elizabeth may not be a good person for dumping her husband, but there are no kids involved and she has the time and resources to go on an exotic journey.
IIRC the real Elizabeth, at the time, had an advance from her publisher to research her next book (I think she mentions it during a TED talk, but I'm not 100% certain -- I do remember reading about it).

Quote:
I've expressed myself badly, but yes, she was self-absorbed and narcissic. Tired of the marriage, so she leaves on her trip to enjoy life? Bad Elizabeth! As long as kids weren't involved, maybe the husband is better off without the twit.
Calling her a twit misses the whole point. It wasn't like she had planned to fall out of love. Things happen for all sorts of reasons, some of which we're not aware of until after the fact. You also cannot predict how one will react.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:52 AM
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However the author managed to portray herself in Eat Pray Love, she couldn't possibly have looked as bad as Julie Powell managed in her followup to the similarly fluffy Julie & Julia. I remember my sister, who (heh) ate up Julie & Julia eagerly awaiting Powell's second book...and that book--Cleaving--turned out to be a not so fluffy memoir of how Powell wrecked her marriage with an affair with an old flame. Youch.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:57 AM
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IIRC the real Elizabeth, at the time, had an advance from her publisher to research her next book (I think she mentions it during a TED talk, but I'm not 100% certain -- I do remember reading about it).
Yes, she conceived the idea for a journey and realized she had no money to pay for it (her money being first tied up by lawyers before her husband agreed to the divorce and then pretty much handed over to him whole cloth as the price of agreeing to the divorce.) So she pitched the book idea to her editor, and they liked it and gave her a loan for it.

That's the one factual error that keeps coming up in the "Liz is a cunt" discussions that I keep wanting to over. Liz (character) was many things, but "rich" wasn't one of them, at the time of this story. At least not in any practical, legally allowed to spend the money she owned on paper sense. She was just smart enough to get paid to do what she wanted to do, and took on a huge loan* from a publisher to write a book about traveling.


*yeah, they call it an "advance", but it's a loan - if your book doesn't sell enough to cover it, you owe it back to the publishing company

Last edited by WhyNot; 12-01-2010 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:13 AM
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"Selfish cunt" might be a little strong, but she is obviously horribly immature if she got married on such a tenuous basis that she could "fall out of love" six years later and have to divorce her husband.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:30 AM
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"Selfish cunt" might be a little strong, but she is obviously horribly immature if she got married on such a tenuous basis that she could "fall out of love" six years later and have to divorce her husband.
Yep, because nobody has ever, in the history of marriage in the world, married someone when they were young, in love, and thought that feeling would last forever. Nobody in the history of the world has ever grown apart from someone in eight years, or changed and grown away from someone else. Never in the history of romantic relationships has someone made such an incredibly selfish and immature decision that she knew there wasn't a "good enough" reason to leave a marriage that she no longer could participate in fully.

Look, I really do not get this attitude. There were no children, and while yes, her husband was hurt, probably dreadfully so, it seems that people are saying "you married him, so suck it up, bitch, and stay in the marriage even though you don't love him anymore. Have children you don't want, because that was the expectation."

I guess people really do believe that no one should ever change their minds about anything ever, and no one should ever change their feelings about anyone, ever.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:12 AM
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This is why women shouldnt write, 90 per cent of the time it is just self absorbed cuntery. Occasional miracles happen, but I hear so do chimpanzees writing Shakespeare.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:19 AM
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I would love to see the reaction if someone made a movie about a man who up and ditched his wife to party in Italy, spend time at an Ashram in India, and get laid in Indonesia. Somehow I don't think it would have a lot of female fans.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:26 AM
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I would love to see the reaction if someone made a movie about a man who up and ditched his wife to party in Italy, spend time at an Ashram in India, and get laid in Indonesia. Somehow I don't think it would have a lot of female fans.
Sounds like good porn material, though.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:33 AM
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I would love to see the reaction if someone made a movie about a man who up and ditched his wife to party in Italy, spend time at an Ashram in India, and get laid in Indonesia. Somehow I don't think it would have a lot of female fans.
Exactly.

And in the movie she didn't "fall out of love" with her husband. A fucking voice in her head told her to leave (the movie is full of woo bullshit, and shallow, maturbatory, fake spirituality like that).

Plus it isn't just that she leaves, but that she's so cavalier, abrupt and unfeeling about it. One day everything's fine, the next day, "see you later. A voice in my head told me to go eat pasta in Italy, and pretend to meditate in a fashionable, tourist ashram for self-absorbed American rich cunts like me, but first I have to fuck James Franco."


There's no redeeming value to the character. Everything she supposedly learns has to do with nothing but self-gratification and avoidance of responsibility.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:38 AM
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Well if nothing else, Elizabeth Gilbert has provided the SDMB with a female target that both men and women can call a cunt all day and night without fear of reprisal. I'll admit, such a treat is rare, but is it so rare that we have to rally around the moniker even though her greatest crime was divorcing a man she didn't want to be married to?

Last edited by pepperlandgirl; 12-01-2010 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:44 AM
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That wasn't her greatest crime, it's her pervasive self-absorbtion and narcissism throught the movie. And like I said, it wasn't just that she left her husband because she thought a disembodied voice told her to do it (stupid enough all by itself), but that she was so cold and capricious about it.

Last edited by Diogenes the Cynic; 12-01-2010 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
That wasn't her greatest crime, it's her pervasive self-absorbtion and narcissism throught the movie. And like I said, it wasn't just that she left her husband because she thought a disembodied voice told her to do it (stupid enough all by itself), but that she was so cold and capricious about it.
I actually had a lot of empathy for Billy Crudups' character. Throughout the movie I was waiting for a flashback to show Gilbert doing something that's causing her to feel bad about herself like have an abortion or killing someone in a traffic accident. It turns out that having a decent life and having everything a person could want is reason enough to feel guilty. What a pathetic message!
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:16 PM
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took on a huge loan* from a publisher to write a book about traveling.


*yeah, they call it an "advance", but it's a loan - if your book doesn't sell enough to cover it, you owe it back to the publishing company
Cite that the advance was only a loan in Gilbert's case? I've gotten a number of advances on books, though I doubt with the number of zeroes she got, and my contracts (with several different publishers) never said anything about paying any of it back. A couple of these books never came close to covering the advances, but no publisher has contacted me about returning the "loan." AFAIK this is standard in the publishing industry.

As for the OP--it's not just you.

Last edited by Ulf the Unwashed; 12-01-2010 at 12:17 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:18 PM
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I have not read the book or seen the movie. The title itself screams narcissism.
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:23 PM
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I would love to see the reaction if someone made a movie about a man who up and ditched his wife to party in Italy, spend time at an Ashram in India, and get laid in Indonesia. Somehow I don't think it would have a lot of female fans.
Right, we'd have women throwing tomatoes at the screen- the guy would be considered a huge douchebag.

You can also reverse "Bridges of Madison County" and even Titanic, and the males placed into the female "cheating" role in each would be considered right bastards, not romantic.

Last edited by DrDeth; 12-01-2010 at 12:23 PM.
  #42  
Old 12-01-2010, 12:54 PM
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Yep, because nobody has ever, in the history of marriage in the world, married someone when they were young, in love, and thought that feeling would last forever. Nobody in the history of the world has ever grown apart from someone in eight years, or changed and grown away from someone else. Never in the history of romantic relationships has someone made such an incredibly selfish and immature decision that she knew there wasn't a "good enough" reason to leave a marriage that she no longer could participate in fully.

Look, I really do not get this attitude. There were no children, and while yes, her husband was hurt, probably dreadfully so, it seems that people are saying "you married him, so suck it up, bitch, and stay in the marriage even though you don't love him anymore. Have children you don't want, because that was the expectation."

I guess people really do believe that no one should ever change their minds about anything ever, and no one should ever change their feelings about anyone, ever.
I don't think that is the attitude, at least not mine. Experience tells me she is probably a selfish cunt. The solution isn't for her to stay in the marriage. There is no solution. She shouldn't have gotten married. Apparently she wasn't a child when she married, so she should have known that she couldn't make that kind of commitment. So if she falls out of love, she is a selfish cunt, whether she stays in the marriage or not.

Of course I don't know her, and the whole story could be made up. Maybe she did nothing wrong, and the relationship just ran out of steam. Maybe it was all his fault. But people will tend to generalize, and since she's aired her dirty laundry in public, she should expect people to assume the worst.

You also feed the concept. 'no one should ever change their feelings about anyone' implies an intentional act. If she changed her feelings, they weren't real in the first place. If her feelings changed involuntarily, that would be different (and maybe that's what you meant). Not being in love is a good reason to get out of an unencumbered relationship, so there is no explanation for her guilt. It might be irrational guilt, or she feels guilty because she was a selfish cunt. All this is about some rich and famous author. If you did the same thing, I'm sure it was for good reasons and people shouldn't be critical.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:34 PM
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*yeah, they call it an "advance", but it's a loan - if your book doesn't sell enough to cover it, you owe it back to the publishing company
This is not true. My brother has had two novels published (with a third coming out soon) by a major publishing company, and his advances were never expected to be paid back if his books did not make money. Maybe this author had some kind of special circumstances, but I doubt it. It's not standard. Advances are the author's money to keep.

Last edited by Diogenes the Cynic; 12-01-2010 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
This is not true. My brother has had two novels published (with a third coming out soon) by a major publishing company, and his advances were never expected to be paid back if his books did not make money. Maybe this author had some kind of special circumstances, but I doubt it. It's not standard. Advances are the author's money to keep.
Only if they actually produce the contracted book.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:57 PM
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She did not have an affair (she started dating someone after she left her husband, and did not leave her husband for the guy).
Well.... She writes, "I moved right in with David after I left my husband." And, "I clung to David for escape from marriage as if he were the last helicopter pulling out of Saigon." You make it sound like taking a lover was completely unrelated to her divorce, but she certainly didn't take any time to lick her wounds, now did she? Certainly divorce proceedings would've been complicated by his presence in her life--and her presence in his bed.

(As others have said, think of the reaction to men who walk out on their wives and immediately start fucking somebody else, showing no interest whatever in trying to patch the marriage back together. Lots of sympathy for the wife, lots of anger at the husband, and a general sense that the wife is entitled to whatever she can get from him. Also, I would guess a deep suspicion about the husband's claim that he didn't start seeing anyone until AFTER he left his wife. "Scout's honor! It was at least a WEEK after I moved out!")

I don't know what Gilbert is like in real life, and I haven't seen the movie, but I do have a problem with the way she casts herself in the book. "I won't open any of that," she says high-mindedly with regard to why she left her husband, and then just a few pages later opens it up after all, and in a way designed to make him seem mean and petty and toddler-like:

"...communications reminding me of what a criminal jerk I was."

"He let me know that I was a liar and a traitor and he hated me and would never speak to me again."

Especially when she doesn't reveal the things she may have said to him (is it really possible that she remained pure of motive and friendly of speech throughout?). Look, either discuss it fairly or don't discuss it at all, but it's really not okay to say you won't discuss it and then proceed to do exactly that, putting someone else in a very bad light.

That said, I very much liked the scene on the bathroom floor (in the book). Too bad she came across in most of the rest of the book as so very whiny, self-centered, and mean-spirited, because she surely can write.
  #46  
Old 12-01-2010, 03:59 PM
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Well if nothing else, Elizabeth Gilbert has provided the SDMB with a female target that both men and women can call a cunt all day and night without fear of reprisal. I'll admit, such a treat is rare, but is it so rare that we have to rally around the moniker even though her greatest crime was divorcing a man she didn't want to be married to?
Sarah Palin was hogging all the cuntery.
  #47  
Old 12-01-2010, 04:25 PM
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However the author managed to portray herself in Eat Pray Love, she couldn't possibly have looked as bad as Julie Powell managed in her followup to the similarly fluffy Julie & Julia. I remember my sister, who (heh) ate up Julie & Julia eagerly awaiting Powell's second book...and that book--Cleaving--turned out to be a not so fluffy memoir of how Powell wrecked her marriage with an affair with an old flame. Youch.
I didn't read Julie & Julia, but I did read Cleaved. I actually found the butchering far more interesting than the affair. My first thought? Here's a book than can be made into another movie!
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:35 PM
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Cite that the advance was only a loan in Gilbert's case? I've gotten a number of advances on books, though I doubt with the number of zeroes she got, and my contracts (with several different publishers) never said anything about paying any of it back. A couple of these books never came close to covering the advances, but no publisher has contacted me about returning the "loan." AFAIK this is standard in the publishing industry.
OK then, I sit corrected. Apparently it was explained to me all wrong, and I apologize for passing on bad information.

Still...main point: it was money for a job, not play money or heiress money or even money she saved up because she was "rich", that enabled her to travel 'round the world.
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:35 PM
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I honestly don't get all this "cunt" stuff.

People get married for all sorts of reasons.

The marriage doesn't work out for any number of reasons.

I've known women who've filed for divorce because of similar reasons as Gilbert. They can't point to a specific incident. It has nothing to do with their husbands as people in that they can't simply call them names or such because nothing happened to have precipitated that. Maybe the realized several years down the line that being in the marriage no longer felt "right". Maybe they outgrew their partners, who knows.

The point is, whatever was going through their heads, they hit the metaphorical brick wall and divorce, for them, was the only way out. Gilbert was no different, and I don't see why she should be castigated for it.
  #50  
Old 12-01-2010, 04:54 PM
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Gilbert was no different, and I don't see why she should be castigated for it.
The double standard. A man who divorced his wife because he fell out of love with her would be expected to show some contrition for having put his former spouse through such emotional turmoil. (Even if he couldn't help his feelings.) Immediately writing a memoir that focused on the great meals and great sex he had after dumping said wife would come off as jerkish. Sauce, goose, gander, etc.
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