by Erica Blumenthal
How did I get so lucky to attend the world premiere of Eat Pray Love in NYC? Let’s get straight to the miraculous point: I brushed shoulders with Julia Roberts last night, a serious OMG moment. She’s luminous. Her body and hair, perfect. Her wardrobe, elegant and classic. She wore a black Stella McCartney jacket and black, short Diane Von Furstenberg
shorts and gold Coomi bangles.
Before that, the night was off to a shaky start because my dear friend Kelley, who held my ticket in, was caught in a brutal battle with NYC traffic. So for a while I loitered around the Ziegfeld Theater in the heat and humidity, all dressed up with a place to go but no way in. Then Elizabeth Gilbert, the book’s author and film’s reason d’etre, emerged in a long ruffled floral frock looking red carpet ready and all smiles. As much as I tried to keep my excitement in check, that was the moment the night kicked into high gear. Then my ravishing date finally arrived and the night was ready to get started!
The movie itself is wonderful– fans of the book will feel indulged. Naturally, some things have changed with its screen adaptation, but I felt they stayed true to Liz Gilbert‘s emotions– from feeling depleted and lost to gaining control of her life and feeling blissfully happy. The male supporting performances by Billy Crudup, James Franco, Javier Bardem, and Richard Jenkins are all incredible.
But enough about the cast. All I can think about after this movie is Italian food. If I could drop everything and go to Italy tomorrow to become a professional pasta and pizza eater I would happily say arrivederci.
After the movie we walked to the Metropolitan Club on 60th St and 5th Avenue for the celebratory afterparty. Flower pedals everywhere, mountains of pasta and desert, and a quickly moving open bar. We scoped the scene and went into a back room with tables reserved for Roberts, Bardem, Murphy, Jenkins, etc etc. We saw Javier Bardem at his table eating pasta. He is absolutely stunning and watching him eat for a moment was heavenly. In real life, he’s all that more amazing. We kept exploring and stopped dead in our tracks at the sight of Eddie Vedder, who penned a song for the film. Kelley and I found a corner to talk by a grand staircase and I looked up to see Julia Roberts and her husband, Danny Moder. Again, radiant perfection. That’s when our shoulder brush happened. She mingled in the main room and ordered a drink from a very delighted bartender before making her way to her table. There were tons of Food Network personalities in the room and we saw Gail Simmons which all seemed very appropriate given the film’s intense adoration of food.
After hanging around for a couple more glasses of wine and passed appetizers– like mini pizzas (Italy!), samosas (India!), and shrimp fritters (Bali! I think) we sailed out of the party. And in distinctly non-moviestar fashion, I took the subway home, blasting Florence
and the Machine‘s “Dog Days are Over” (the song from the trailer) all the way to my apartment door.
Eat Pray Love is in theaters this weekend. Do yourself a favor and “let yourself go.”