There's an inherent problem with movie adaptations of popular novels. People who have read the book want to see all their favorite moments recreated on screen, while the rest of the audience wants a coherent story told in a way that doesn't require that we already know it.

There's an inherent problem with movie adaptations of popular novels. People who have read the book want to see all their favorite moments recreated on screen, while the rest of the audience wants a coherent story told in a way that doesn't require that we already know it.

Enter "Eat Pray Love," the adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir, which has sold 7 million copies, presumably all to Oprah viewers.

Liz (Julia Roberts) is a successful New York author at a crossroads after her divorce from a loving husband who was merely a bad fit (Billy Crudup).

She decides to leave writing for a year to go on a journey of self-discovery, soaking in the rich cuisine and language of Italy, cleansing her mind at a spiritual retreat in India and finding peace - and love - on the island paradise of Bali.

Director (and "Glee" creator) Ryan Murphy tries to strike a balance between over-cutesy chick-flick humor and themes of spirituality. Neither worked for me.

It's a shame, too, because he's got plenty of talent to work with. Roberts lacks the effortless charm she brings to most roles, and she's saddled with some sappy voiceover work to advance the plot.

A trio of supporting actors has more success - Crudup, James Franco and the fantastic Javier Bardem all make the most of limited screentime.

The scattered cooing and laughter during the advance screening indicated a mixed reaction even among fans. What's good for the page (presumably) isn't good for the screen.