Julia Roberts vs. Angelina Jolie: Eat Pray Love and Salt
Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts take the lead in two money-making films . There never seems to be a dry spell for these acting divas - whether it's on screen or in magazine stands. Even if they’re not starring in a current film, previews are showing their next flick, or entertainment magazines are copiously displaying photos of them.
In Phillip Noyce’s Salt, Angelina Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a CIA agent whose family, life, and career is in danger after she is accused of being a Russian spy. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Ryan Murphy’s Eat Pray Love, where Julia Roberts plays Liz Gilbert, a newly divorced woman who is at a turning point in her life, seeking to rediscover herself by traveling to Italy, India, and Bali.
Love and Spirituality vs. Action and Politics
Salt is just what it appears to be, an action film. Eat Pray Love offers the same courtesy; the film feeds us heaping spoonfuls of food, prayer, and self-indulgence, as it is unmistakably a romantic-comedy. Salt has been evaluated as everything from a fun thrill ride, to a preposterously unrealistic tale, while Eat Pray Love has been branded everything from a feel-good romance, to a hasty version of a factual memoir.
One thing is certain, if you are looking plot variety, delivered by two female-power-houses, Salt and Eat Pray Love convey just that. Movie-goers that yearn to feed their soul, examine spirituality, and feel fleetingly warm and fuzzy inside should go see Eat Pray Love. Audiences desiring an obtrusively fast-paced and stunt-orientated action-ride, stop in for Salt.
No Deviation From Typical Roles
Like comfort food, many movie fans crave meat and potatoes satisfaction from their movies - it may not be the healthiest or best, but they keep going back to it. Which is to say, fans will go see Jolie and Roberts in any film - be it a trite flop or an Oscar hit.
Sure, Julia and Angelina brought in millions of viewers , yet their characters were not an aberration from their usual routine. In fact, Evelyn Salt and Liz Gilbert were emblematic of countless previous roles; Jolie as an action idol in Lara Croft Tomb Raider, Gone in 60 Seconds, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, etc. and Roberts as the romantic-comedy heiress in The Mexican, Runaway Bride, Pretty Woman, and so on.
Fortunately, both films send a positive societal message to the twenty-first century female role-models. Whether it is Evelyn Salt mastering the same stunts a male actor would execute, or Liz Gilbert finding her true self through her own independence, these female roles seek to inspire women (and even men) of all ages.