Despite the doubts I've had about turning the memoir Eat Pray Love into a movie-- a book entirely narrated by one woman, entirely about her own spiritual awakening-- I've been interested to watch the casting. Mostly because the "cast" of the book flits in and out, as the writer Elizabeth Gilbert travels from Italy to India to Indonesia in search of herself, whatever that means. Julia Roberts-- of course-- is on board as Gilbert, Richard Jenkins will play an important figure from an Indian ashram, and now Viola Davis is considering signing on in the dreaded Best Friend role.

I call the role dreaded not for anything that's in the book-- to my memory Delia, who is Gilbert's roommate at the ashram, isn't really a significant character-- but, come on. The best friend in a romantic comedy, particularly the black best friend, is nothing but a cheering section for the pretty white lead. THR says Davis is not necessarily signed on, and maybe in her negotiation process she's demanding that the role at least be somewhat up to her dignity. And I'm not going to sit here and ask why an actress as talented as Davis would take a random best friend role, because hey, being a black actress is not easy. But post-Doubt, I had high hopes for Davis, and playing second banana to Julia Roberts just seems beneath what she's capable of.

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