Julia Roberts makes a comeback

Published: August 15, 2010
Julia Roberts on location in India to shoot for Eat Pray Love. PHOTO: FILE

Julia Roberts on location in India to shoot for Eat Pray Love. PHOTO: FILE

It has been 20 years since Julia Roberts appeared in Pretty Woman opposite Richard Gere, but even today she is considered one of the biggest stars in the world. And for the first time in a long time, she has opened a movie, Eat Pray Love, on her own.

Forty-two-year-old Roberts was at one point the highest paid female actor in show business but in recent years has kept things on the down low. This was in part due to the fact that she was busy having a family, (the actor has three children with husband, Daniel Moder) and because Hollywood roles for older female actors are still limited.

However, Roberts has earned a significant amount of money with Eat Pray Love and is quoted to have taken in $10 million. Earlier this year the star also appeared in Valentine’s Day where she made $3 million and three per cent of the film’s gross. In 2009 she received $15 million for Duplicity and she got a pay check for $20 million each for Mona Lisa Smile (2003) and Erin Brockovich (2000) for which she won an Academy Award. The actor definitely came a long way since Pretty Woman (1990) where she made $300,000 and just three years after that had her salary jump to $8 million for The Pelican Brief, an adaptation of a John Grisham novel.

Eat Pray Love reviewed

“Ryan Murphy, the creator of ‘Glee’ and ‘Nip/Tuck’, has an agreeable camp sensibility, but when he sets out to direct a ‘woman’s picture’ and play it straight, the results are stupefying. He has no clue how to shoot the scenes between his heroine, Elizabeth Gilbert, and the Adonis played by James Franco, who has never shown so little of his puckish intelligence. The Italian abbondanza eating scenes are edited like Riunite commercials, the food so obviously ‘styled’ that it kills the piggy fun. Try not to hoot when the gaunt Roberts makes a bring-on-the-flab speech to persuade the equally slender Tuva Novotny to eat pizza, even if they get ‘muffin tops’. Murphy opens the India sequence with a Julia-amid-the-beggars music video (the song is MIA’s ‘Boyz’) that dwarfs even the pizza scene for gross insensitivity.”NEW YORK MAGAZINE

“Roberts doesn’t look much like Liz Gilbert — although she has indeed absorbed some of her mannerisms — after all she gets paid to look like Julia Roberts. She gives a nice performance here, ranging from brassy to vulnerable to drunkenly flirtatious. It isn’t her fault that the script tries to jam a memoir into the romantic-comedy template, spiced liberally with New Age nostrums, and can’t quite get it right.” SALON.COM

Eat Pray Love can’t be described as a home run. At least during the movie’s first third, Murphy doesn’t stop moving his camera, compulsively swooping it around and perching it above the action as if it were a neurotic bird of prey. The perspective is at its most jangled in Italy, where Gilbert is supposed to discover the joys of Italy’s language, food and ‘joy in doing nothing.’”WASHINGTON POST

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2010.

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