Having not read Elizabeth Gilbert's bestseller about her yearlong journey to Italy, India and Bali to achieve balance and spiritual enlightenment, I can only speak of the torture of watching the movie. Despite the star shine of Julia Roberts as Gilbert and the presence of gifted Glee creator Ryan Murphy in the director's chair, the movie left me with the feeling of being trapped with a person of privilege who won't stop with the whine whine whine. Endless scenes of Gilbert, bathed in golden light by the great cinematographer Robert Richardson, complaining about guys (Billy Crudup, James Franco, Javier Bardem) who don't understand her needs made me want to starve curse hate and put commas where they belong. Murphy's magic touch on TV with Glee and Nip/Tuck mysteriously deserts him in movies (he stalled with his 2006 debut, Running With Scissors). As I watched Gilbert swirl pasta, pet an elephant and visit an ashram, I kept wishing that Glee coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch, my personal guru) would appear — her voice engorged with venom — and seriously puke in Gilbert's bromide-spouting mouth.
From The Archives Issue 297: August 9, 1979