Friendship Eat Pray LoveHave you seen ‘Eat Pray Love’ yet? Did you go see it with your girlfriends?

Girlfriend groups are gathering, like I did with three of my friends this week. It’s the perfect summer movie for women based on it’s adventure, life lessons and self-discovery focus, and if you’re a Julia Roberts fan or like food and handsome men, you and your girlfriends might need to hit a movie this weekend!

To give a girlfriend review on this new movie, I have to go back to the beginning, my beginning. I read “Eat, Pray, Love,” by Elizabeth Gilbert on a plane to Frankfurt and a train to Paris and all the nights between transatlantic flights. (I was traveling with non-girlfriends co-workers so it wasn’t as fun as it should have been!) It was a perfect escape each night as I read until I couldn’t stay awake any longer – each page calling to my love of travel and the fantasy of indulging in the amazing vistas, pastas and adventures of Italy, India and Indonesia. For me, there was a definite spiritual connection and fascination with the concept of exploring the world while looking for yourself.

When we read ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ for our June Girlfriendology online Book Club, I had given away my copy of the book to a friend, so I listened to it on CDs. I was afraid I’d miss a lot of the personality of the book and the wonderful, well-written words of Elizabeth Gilbert. Instead, since it was narrated by the author, I could hear the conversations, the accents, the pronunciations like hearing her speak of “Luca Spaghetti” and Giovani and could hear their voices answer.

As you may have gathered by now, I am a hopeless romantic traveler with far too few stamps in my passport and a deep, do-whatever-it-takes longing to fix that. The book/movie spoke to my love of foreign adventures and memories of observing families interacting on the London tube or the smiles of beautiful children in South Africa. Yep. Hopeless romantic traveler, so this book (and movie) spoke to my personal foreign dreams and longing to wander through life and countries.

Back to the movie … Julia Roberts plays the role of Liz well – from the anticipation of pizza from Naples in her joyful face, to the pain of walking away from someone she loves. I loved Viola Davis as her BFF (and possibly publisher). Their friendship felt comfortable and trusting, intimate and supporting. (Although I would find it difficult to be away from my BFFs for a full year!) I like to think of them hanging out over coffee or a glass of wine, sharing baby and Bali stories for years to come.

There were definitely things I would have kept from the book (the ‘brown dog’ story, summoning spirits to help in her divorce, being in the palm of God’s hand). But, in my humble and personal opinion, the movie was a good translation of the book. And, I’ll be back. I have several more girlfriends that I plan to see this movie with in the coming weeks.

Yes, I know the arguments against the book and movie – Liz is self-indulgent, spoiled, and unappreciative of an amazing opportunity. In life, and in this book/movie, often you get out of it what you want and depending on where you’re at in your life when you experience it. If you’re like me and long for adventure and travel, you’ll enjoy living through her adventures vicariously. If you’re on a journey of self discovery (okay, and what woman isn’t in some way?), you may relate to the lessons of love and loss, of acceptance and loving yourself. And if you’re wondering where and with whom the future will lead you, it’s a reminder to open and follow your heart.

One recommendation from our Facebook Fans/Friends for when you’re going as a girlfriend group to this movie: plan to go out for Italian food afterwards with your girlfriends to discuss the movie. (You’ll possibly be craving spaghetti and pizza. Or was that just me?!) Even if you only have time for a drink or a prolonged walk to the car, explore your immediate response to the movie. That’s one of the great things about girlfriends, we love to share our thoughts with each other.

What lessons can you learn about your friends by their comments? Are they on a journey themselves? Are they an adventurer, romantic, skeptic or foodie?

Don’t miss an opportunity to have amazing conversations, share your thoughts and open up your life and dreams to our girlfriends.

Have you gone with your girlfriends? What things did you learn about them from the movie?

Other Girlfriendology girlfriend movie reviews: Sex and the City 2 and  Julie & Julia.