By Jennifer Merin
WeNews film critic
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The film adaptation of "Eat, Pray, Love" opens Aug. 13, the same date as Sylvester Stallone's high-testosterone "Expendables." It's a face-off that Jennifer Merin says could test male-female movie-going might.
(WOMENSENEWS)--I don't usually urge female moviegoers to flock to buy first weekend tickets to support a movie that clearly caters to the female audience.
But the face-off looming on Aug. 13--when "Eat, Pray, Love" opens against Sylvester Stallone's high-testosterone "Expendables"--is a great time to send Hollywood a commercial message about your taste in movies.
"Eat, Pray, Love" is, of course, the cinematic adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's profoundly popular eponymous memoir. Gilbert (played in the film by Julia Roberts) decides to escape from her male-dominated lifestyle and circumstances by taking a year off to travel and reconnect with her personal exuberance, her appetite for life and her sense of wonder about the world. In Italy, she learns to fulfill her need for nourishment by bonding with pizza. In India, she taps into the power of prayer and connects with her own sustaining spirituality. And, finally, in Bali, she unexpectedly discovers the inner peace of true love.
While Gilbert fans mark the opening with a big heart on their calendars, their male companions just might be trying to get them to take in the relentless carnage of "The Expendables." The movie gathers Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Eric Roberts and yes, even Arnold Schwarzenegger, on one screen.
Movie marketers haven't outwardly pitted the openings of these two oh-so-different films against each other, but it's likely that studios and distributors will take some note of the comparable box office takes as an indicator of where the wind is blowing in ticket sales. Inner growth or gunfire? Cast your vote.
The month, meanwhile, brings a bunch of other great movies.
British crime thriller "The Disappearance of Alice Creed" opens Aug. 6. It's the gripping and twisted story of a kidnapping victim who turns her captors' plans upside down by assuming a proactive position in the execution of the crime. It's good to see a gal fight back.
In "Step Up 3-D," scripted by Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer, break dancing provides the context for romance among battling competitors. It may be aimed at young audiences, but it's also for anyone who likes dancing that is hot.
The month also brings a couple of features about women's experiences in the Middle East. Opening Aug. 6, "Cairo Time," written and directed by Arab Canadian filmmaker Ruba Nedda is a dramatic romance. In the film, Juliette (Patricia Clarkson), the 50-something wife of a U.N. official, travels to the Egyptian capital to meet her husband for a vacation. When his arrival is delayed, she's escorted around town by Tareq (Alexander Siddig), her husband's security guard, and an unexpected attraction develops.
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