Worst Book Ever (At Least, That I’ve Read)

I have a love hate relationship with movies. I enjoy a good movie but my tastes are fairly specific and I rarely venture out of my little bubble. My husband and I don’t often go to the movies together since if we are going to spend the time, money, energy and effort to get out of the house for an evening it does not appeal to us to do so merely to sit in a dark theatre with sticky armrests to watch something we will probably not enjoy. My idea of a date with my husband is a nice bottle of wine in a dimly lit restaurant, some decent food and a few hours to have an actual conversation without constant interruptions.

That being said I enjoy the occasional uplifting chick flick; or a fun musical or a romantic comedy. I enjoy it even more with my girlfriends and a nice meal before or after. (Actually,  I’m more about the food.)

So early this summer when I heard there was a new Julia Roberts film on the horizon I was happy, since I generally enjoy her movies. She is one of those actors I can still enjoy because she is talented, nice to look at, funny and has not yet opened her mouth. By that I mean she has not taken it upon herself to inflict her political/social/religious opinions on the rest of us via Oprah’s couch or the Larry King show. She seems to me to be someone who is talented and takes her work seriously and then disappears from the limelight to be with her family. I like that in an actor.

I do not like actors who think because they can make movies they should have a say in how the world should work. For example I enjoyed Tom Cruise movies early in his career and then he seemed to go off the deep end. Now he could make the best movie ever and I would no more spend $12 to see it than I would spend it to contract Ebola virus. Same about Sean Penn and if I ever got close enough I surely would pinch Susan Saradon, I find her that obnoxious.

 

So I am conflicted about movies but not about actors.

Anyway, I hear there is a Julia movie coming and I think that I might actually go see a cute romantic comedy.  Then I heard which movie.

Eat, Pray, Love.

Aaaarrghhh.

I was disappointed. To say the least. I read this book  when it first came out and I have to say I HATED it. H.A.T.E.D. it.

Gimme an H, gimme an A, gimme a TED……

You picking up on the depth of my feeling for this book? It’s not that the book was not well written; it was very well written for the god-awful-no-one-seems-to-care-about-grammar-or-syntax genre of chick lit. It’s not that the author, Elizabeth Gilbert, isn’t a good storyteller; she is. I read the whole book in spite of the fact that I hated it. She tells her story really well and I was not tempted to not finish the book. I was tempted to smack her.

So why did I hate it?  She drove me crazy. Here is a woman with a perfectly fine life, a decent husband, an interesting career and a nice house, yet she can’t stop whining about how unfulfilled she is. Eventually she leaves the poor guy (best thing that ever happened to him even though it probably was hell at the time) and takes up with some actor no one has ever heard of.  When the starving artist fails to fulfill her and then dumps her, she convinces her publisher to pay her to take a year and indulge in her whims and to reclaim her identity — which apparently could only be done by indulgence in food, self absorbed “spirituality,” and a sexual romp through a tropical island. Hence the subtitle: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia – emphasis on “everything.”

Gilbert takes off for Italy to indulge in food since she has been emotionally and physically starved by her unhappiness. Of all the idiotic….

Well, she makes the point that the food is wonderful and she gains weight but don’t think this princess is chubby because she was soooo thin from the abuse of having to live with a nice guy in a nice house in New Jersey.

Then she needs to be spiritually fulfilled so it is off to India to an ashram to learn to find God by meditating for hours at a time.  By this time I was hoping an elephant would stomp on her. Find God in India when you could have found Him in your living room? Or here’s a radical notion, go to church. Who would have thought? God in church. When you just spent FOUR MONTHS IN ROME. An even crazier idea is find God by helping others in need. Just a thought. Rather than trying to find God by quelling the teenage-like angst in your head why not venture out and help someone else? See the face of Christ in the poor of India like a certain little nun we all knew and loved and stop whining about how your path to spirituality is blocked because you are so deep and riddled with complex thoughts that are too much for the rest of us to comprehend.

Ppplllffttthhh….

Next stop is Bali where she tries to incorporate the two halves of her new life, the physical and spiritual and it ends with her having an affair with a man she barely knows and regarding which the reader is subjected to more detail than is necessary. Honestly lady, have some dignity. Have some self respect. Write a book your mother could read without wanting to die of embarrassment.

From what I understand, and this is screamingly funny, she marries the guy and they — you ready for this — settle down and buy a house in New Jersey. So she ends up exactly where she started and her next book is about being married. We all were conned. She has all this angst about her married suburban life and then leads us through 350 pages of prattling about it to end up where she began. If you bought the book you should feel cheated.

I have no patience with this nonsense. Seriously this book is the most self absorbed, smug, spiritually-vacant, narcissistic, egotistical, annoying piece of nonsense I have ever had the misfortune to apply to my brain. My own fault actually since I continued to read the nonsense but as I said she is an excellent storyteller — and I kept hoping someone would smack her across the face and tell her to snap out of it. Never happened and of course now she is a bizillioniare with a second book (no I won’t be reading that one) and a hit movie to her credit.

Sigh.

We are a navel gazing society that can’t even recognize that a woman cannot possibly find herself while running away from everything that is meaningful in life. I don’t mean that a woman has to be married or live in the suburbs to be fulfilled, but if you are so self-involved that every little tiny thought of dissatisfaction or anxiety that pops momentarily into your head convinces you that your very identity is in peril it is unlikely you will find yourself anywhere. Personally, I’m so sorry I found her. I wish I had left her in the library.

And now I find out that this nonsense has infected the brain of Julia Roberts.

In an interview with Elle magazine already on newsstands, she announces that ever since filming scenes in India for Eat Pray Love, she has become a Hindu. Roberts, who was raised Catholic, says she and her family now worship as Hindus and go together to a temple to “chant and pray and celebrate. I’m definitely a practicing Hindu.”

Apparently, she not only named her production company “Red Om Films” but also allowed a Hindu priest to rename her children. The Times of India newspaper reported last fall that Swami Dharam Dev claims to have given Roberts’ three children the names of Hindu gods. He told the Associated Press: “I have named her twins Hazel and Phinnaeus as Laxmi and Ganesh, while Henry will be called Krishna Balram.”

Are you kidding me? Really? She converted to Hinduism because of a movie?

Another Hollywood actor looking inward and finding out that really they are so wonderful they need to chant about it. Spare me.

Sigh. Not again. I wish she hadn’t given that interview, because now I will never be able to enjoy her movies.

Scientology, Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age, flakey, baloney babble…what is going on out there on that left coast? Moral relativism, intellectual vapidity and spiritual emptiness has left people willing to believe in anything that makes them feel better about themselves. Next they’ll be worshipping at temples devoted to red wine and dark chocolate.

Happily I can eat, pray and love to my heart’s content — all within the confines of  my home with the people whose very lives bless and  fulfill me and a God who has blessed me beyond anything I deserve. I need not seek Him in out of the way places but rather find Him here every day in my home; and a mile away where His real presence resides in my church and in the face of those I meet all around me.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure no one wants to make a movie about that.

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