"The driving force behind the journey in Gilbert's memoir is a pursuit of truth and divinity. 'You sometimes must reach out of [the world's] jurisdiction for help,' she explains, 'appealing to a higher authority in order to find your comfort.' She knows she is lost and, having reached the end of herself, she cries, 'I just want God.' Gilbert's trip may be indulgent, but her search is earnest. In the adaptation, Liz isn't searching for God, she's searching for herself - a pursuit that many critics have deemed narcissistic. Introspection isn't just selfish, however, it's depressing. The film begins as a treatise on individualism, but it gradually slumps into a rom-com because this offers an easier conclusion. In the book, Gilbert grapples with prayer in New York, forgiveness in an Indian ashram and compassion in a Balinese village. The film sees Liz search for the key to her identity at the same far reaches of the world, but - stopping short of spiritual exploration - perhaps she doesn't look far enough."