Was Julia Roberts the Wrong Actress for Eat, Pray, Love?
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
The opening weekend of Eat, Pray, Love is being billed as a success, earning $23 million and second only to Sly Stallone's action ensemble The Expendables at $35 million. Not surprisingly, more than 70% of the audience for EPL were women and movie marketers expect a long run for the film into the fall since women are less likely than men to rush out to see a movie on opening weekend.
As Owen Gleiberman at Entertainment Weekly also observes, The Expendables, EPL, and the third opening film Scott Pilgrim, were perfectly timed to open this weekend, targeting the male, female, and youth segments respectively.
Also of interest, the run-up and opening for EPL propelled book sales with 94,000 copies sold since Aug. 1 more than were sold in 2006, the first year of the book's release.
But the success of EPL is not without detractors. Linda Holmes, at NPR's Monkey See blog, argues that the film leaves out important plot elements of the book.
And I can't help but wonder if the film would have done better with a different actress, especially among young adult women under 35. The talk has been building around this movie here in Washington, DC social circles for at least a month, and a common complaint I hear from female friends is that Julia Roberts just doesn't match their image of the main character. As one friend puts it: "You expect the main character to look like she enjoys eating. That's a big part of the book, and Julia Roberts just doesn't look that part."
What do readers think?
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"
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- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Two massive clouds of dust in orbit around the Earth have been discussed for years and finally proven to exist.
- Hungarian astronomers have proven the existence of two "pseudo-satellites" in orbit around the earth.
- These dust clouds were first discovered in the sixties, but are so difficult to spot that scientists have debated their existence since then.
- The findings may be used to decide where to put satellites in the future and will have to be considered when interplanetary space missions are undertaken.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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