Ah the film version of the ultimate chic-lit book. I don't mean to be disparaging here, I loved Gilbert's book because it resonated with me. It addressed my own experience and put into words things that I had been feeling, which is exactly what poetry does. It transcends the particular to become representative of the human experience.
I found the book more emotionally stark and vulnerable. The film version lacked intensity in the soul-searching, to the point that the main character seemed a bit spoilt and self-indulgent. I guess that is mainly because of the lack of inner dialogue in the film. It is too easy to judge someone else's life from the outside. Who knows what is really going on in someone else's relationship?
What I enjoyed most about the film:
The food, wine, and gesturing in Italy. Italy was the country of pervasive, overt carnality. It reinforced the physical reality, mortality, and sensuality of this life.
India: A country of desperate chaos and poverty can also be a sanctuary for spirituality. Richard's transition from abrasive to honest was handled well.
Bali: Its languid balminess reminded me of the Wood Between the Worlds in the Magician's Nephew, the place where you have to go as a transition, but if you stay there you will eventually fall into a stupor.
You know who I would have loved to have seen play Elizabeth Gilbert in the film? Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost, The Santa Clause); she's a close match for Gilbert.
Read the book, saw the movie, bought almond and chocolate ice cream. God? What do I know? Love? Like Gilbert. I'm afraid that when it gets close I won't know enough to fight for it and I'll let it slip away.