MAJOR SPOILER ALERT. If there was ever material that seems primed for a big-screen release, it's 'Eat Pray Love.' Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling 2006 memoir about her year-long journey to find herself after a divorce has sold 6.2 million copies worldwide, holding millions of readers (and Oprah) rapt with its themes of redemption and letting go. Not to mention that her lush and colorful travels to Italy, India and Indonesia seemed born ready for their cinematic close up.
Ryan Murphy ('Glee') has taken helm of the big-screen adaptation, which hits theaters on Friday, with Julia Roberts inhabiting the role of broken down world traveler Liz Gilbert, and Javier Bardem, James Franco and Richard Jenkins making appearances as supporting players.
Of course, it's hard to squeeze in an entire year's worth of travels and self-realization into 334 paperback pages, much less a 133-minute film, which resulted in some discrepancies between the book and its movie counterpart. Some key players were bound to get lost (sorry, Indonesian pals Mario and Yudhi, and that poet/plumber from New Zealand!); some details muddied (they were at a Lazio soccer game in the book, but the movie was definitely sporting Roma colors). Others elements were added altogether (elephant on the loose).
Will avid readers of this bestseller be as enraptured by the movie as they were with the book? Here are some side-by-side comparisons as to how the two stack up. Though take caution, gentle reader: SPOILERS AHEAD.