Eat. Pray. Love. Market.

An epic journey of selling that's guaranteed to leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Eat Pray Love products

Eat Pray Love is released this week and, outside of most children's movies, must be the most marketed film in existence. So, although we've been spared the Eat Pray Loveburger from McDonald's, complete with carcinogen-painted handy-bendy figurine of Julia Roberts doing the downward-facing McMuffin, we've been given a whole lot more stuff to buy (in up to three installments.) In fact, reports the New York Post, consumers are being bombarded with around 400 EPL-related products. Including this special-edition Eat Pray Love Sony e-Reader, (normal price: $141.99 on Amazon) but, with special neoprene case and digital versions of both of Elizabeth Gilbert's books, it could be yours for just $229.95. Or three payments of $76.65.

Most of them seem to be aimed at the slightly sad fortysomething female. From valances to fridge magnets, thongs (no thanks, I'm already wearing my Steven Slater pair) through what can only be the most depressing vaycay giveaway known to woman: a 21-day trip to India, Italy, and Indonesia, courtesy of STA travel. For One. Would it not have been more thoughtful, perhaps, to allow a friend to come along too, to save the winner crying silent tears of loneliness into her Eat Pray Love pillowcase for the entire three-week duration?

Eat Pray Love pillowcase

One must, at least be thankful, that it comes in that tasteful shade of olive. Anyone feel like some tapenade?

Eat Pray Love bucket hat

This hat, from Sony marketing partner Cost Plus World Market, is great because as well as trying to flog it to you, the blurb incorporates heath advice—while, of course, flogging it to you. And who needs friends when you've got this hat? Sorry, companion.

Eat Pray Love tee


As well as the "I Deserve Something Beautiful" version you see above, the HSN T-shirts come with four other slogans. "Fear, Who Cares." "Search for Everything." "Nice to Meet You." "Nourish Your Soul." What's missing: "It's Your Turn to Do the Washing Up." "Do You Speak Chick Lit?" "I'm With Hormonal ——>." "All Men Are Bastards."

Eat Pray Love juicy tubes

I'm slightly confused, however, by Lancome's Eat Pray Love box of lip glosses. On the box is inscribed "warm edition," which I'm wondering may be a cooking instruction.

Eat Pray Love tea

Could this be a clue that Hollywood has a sequel planned: Eat Pray Love Drink? (In which our heroine's relationship goes southwards and she seeks solace in the cooking sherry.) However, in order to keep the spin-off products available to as wide a tranche of the population as possible, Sony's marketing executives propose that, instead of alcohol (Eat Pray Love Drink Puke) they go for something a little less harmful. Eat Pray Love Strain Add Milk and Sugar to Taste Drink.

And then, when you tire of the kitchen, and the cooking sherry, you can clamber up the stairs to your bedroom and, as you crawl toward your bed, you can examine the border of your Eat Pray Love valance and ponder the oft-asked question: Where does the word valance come from?

Eat Pray Love scent

Every sense is catered for, in EPL-land. Behold the Eat Pray Love scents, available also in a miniature candle set. Eat is "sweetly effervescent," Pray "woodsy," and Love "woody"—sorry, "sunny floral with tropical undertones". So, not Eaux de Greasy Pasta, Unwashed Priest's Soutaine and Teen Bro's Sheets, then.

Besides the official products, those three simple words seemingly beloved by a certain tranche of the female population have found themselves onto the craftsy websites. Here's a couple of products from Etsy:

the Eat Pray Love Keychain. And the Eat Pray Love fridge magnet.

The Eat Pray Love Slash Chainsaw has sold out.

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  • Jennifer Kirkland

    Meredith, I could not agree more. I walked into a World Market with a friend and LOLed at all the cheap-looking Eat Pray Love merchandise everywhere. The book was decent, but hyperconsumerizing it with all the merchandise pretty much killed any fond associations I had with the story.

  • Helen Lapp

    Yes, "the book is ...better than the movie" - at least I hope so - Julia R just may be the distraction that convinced me of this - saw the movie after hearing from friends for years about the book - admit I never read it - and now I cannot imagine liking it enough to spend the time. I felt the character's pain - a little.

  • Meredith Obendorfer

    I loved the book and think this gross consumerism just cheapens the whole experience of enjoying the story. For what it's worth, I also think Julia Roberts was grossly miscast, and I haven't even see the movie yet.

  • Tracy Stuckrath

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on the consumerism. We already have enough things that we don't need, why add more to the pile. Especially those that are logo'd for a higher price.

    The book was a joy to read and go through the emotions with her. When I first learned of Julia Roberts begin cast in the role, I expressed the same thought to my friends. I do plan on seeing the movie and how they adapted the story from the book, but with the idea that the book is almost always better than the movie.