“You, you, you,” says the toothless holy man. “Me, me, me,” says Julia Roberts. Yes, she has returned…the high priestess of Hollywood’s true religion: the self. Behind every red ball of Kabbalah string…behind every pledge to Scientology…there’s an ego. And none is bigger or more ferocious than Julia’s. To even think of starring in Eat Pray Love, you need an ego the size of India. Based on the best-selling self-help travelogue by Elizabeth Gilbert, this is story of one woman learning to love herself, in spite of good-looks and ready access to finance. It’s an overcoming adversity story, except the “adversity” part is a load of bullshit, and Julia has about as much difficulty “overcoming” it as mustard does overcoming a hotdog.
Why doesn’t Woody Allen do something crazy – like make King Lear? (“How – uh – y’know – how sharper than a serpent’s tooth to have a – uh – a thankless child”) What’s the point in playing it safe at 75? And – to get to my point (lopsidedly) – why bother making Vicky Cristina Barcelona? Woody Allen has made two classics in his career (Annie Hall, Manhattan), and about six movies that are almost-classic (Zelig, Hannah and Her Sisters… Radio Days?), but his recent output is pedestrian – ignorable. So why not play Lear? Afterall, he was in that cockamamie Jean-Luc Godard Lear twenty years ago.