a jewish perspective on eat pray love, hollywood orientalism + the bechdel test

by anzya

I finally saw Eat Pray Love tonight which I admit, I wanted to see, seeing so many women seemed to love the book.  I’m not going to say much about it because this brilliant post from Jewschool a while back sums it up to a tee in three yiddish words that for me, highlight what I love about Yiddish: Fress. Kvetch. Shtup. (I linked to translations there if you’re not schooled in the Yiddish language…) The language in itself almost prevents one from taking oneself too seriously (which the self-indulgent main character could use a dose of in her self-absorbed, post-colonial, new age spiritual quest).

Whether or not you’ve seen the film, do read the Fress. Kvetch. Shtup. post by Raysh Weiss, which takes up a Jewish philosophical and ethical critique of the film which I quite liked.

There’s another good article on the NPR website which discusses Orientalism in contemporary Hollywood movies here.

Oh, and do you think this film passes the Bechdel test?

You know, despite this being a film about a woman and her oh-so-spiritual journey, I’m not sure if it does! The only conversations she seems to have with her superficial friends are about her oh-so-difficult relationships with a string of handsome men, and about how their boyfriends will still want to shtup them even if they have “muffin tops” (yeah right Julia Roberts).