Earlier this month, a call to arms on behalf of Sylvester Stallone’s old-guy blow-’em-up The Expendables went out on the Internet, in the form of a movie trailer. The trailer chastised men: “You’ve been handing the keys to Hollywood to teenage girls and G.N.O.,” before identifying Julia Roberts’s Eat Pray Love, a film daring to open on the same day, as the enemy. It then exhorted all people with penises to remember that, in The Expendables, “the only men you’re allowed to love are together at last,” so, “If this loses to Eat Pray Love? You don’t. Deserve. To be. A. Man.” Unfortunately for both fabricated beefs and neurotic masculinity, the Eat Pray Love–Expendables face-off is not quite the crucible of gender relations it’s been billed as: Turns out, Julia Roberts finding herself is not as dissimilar from Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, and Mickey Rourke destroying things as you might imagine. This chick flick and this dick flick actually have a lot in common! Fifteen things, to be exact. Consider the similarities — from questing heroes who like to help people in the Third World while wearing floppy hats, to sidekicks with tragic backstories and love interests with Spanish accents — in this slideshow.
Eat Pray Love: After a failed marriage and a failed relationship, Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) feels like “I’m nothing. I’m a pulse. I used to have an appetite for my life and it’s gone.”
The Expendables: Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) totally knows how Liz feels. After his long life as a mercenary, he’s “dead inside.” Even worse, his “belief in the soul [is] dried all up.”
Eat Pray Love: Bali.
The Expendables: The fictional South American island of Vilena, ruled by a puppet dictator and an evil ex-CIA agent.
Eat Pray Love: Felipe (Javier Bardem).
The Expendables: Sandra (Giselle Itie, in her first English-speaking part — you can tell).
Eat Pray Love: When Liz explains that she’s going to Italy, India, and Bali for a year, her publisher Delia (Viola Davis) replies that, yes, lots of people in their 30s wreck their marriages and lives, but then they “march their bruised asses to the shrink’s office.” Liz sort of takes this advice, forgoing an appointment on the Upper West Side for ones with an Indian Guru, a Balinese wise man, and her gruff pal Richard from Texas (Richard Jenkins), who insists she “forgive herself.”
The Expendables: Toll Road (Randy Couture) has an “avoidant personality disorder” diagnosis and is a big fan of analysis. Ross agrees, saying, “Therapy. That’s not wrong.” He also suggests that the unhinged Dolph Lundgren might benefit from professional help, and personally fields touchy-feely questions from Jason Statham like, “Have you ever been rejected?”
Eat Pray Love: Tulsi (Rushita Singh), a very chatty, very bright girl Liz meets while scrubbing floors in India, becomes morose owing to her arranged marriage to a nerd.
The Expendables: Ying Yang (really, played by Jet Li), Barney’s loyal, lethal friend, becomes despondent when he thinks about how short he is: “My life is difficult because I’m smaller.”
Eat Pray Love: In Bali, on her birthday, Liz e-mails her friends and asks that in lieu of gifts they send money to buy her divorced, abused, single-mother friend a house. Having forgiven Liz for sending them an electronic guilt trip, they donate $18,000.
The Expendables: Stallone and Co. risk their lives to bring freedom to a Third World island nation.
Eat Pray Love
: Or, more accurately, Eat, Pray, Fully Clothed Kisses
: Stallone and his South American Accented Love Interest never kiss — and thank God, since he’s 36 years older than her, looks every day of it, and probably would have left some of his goatee’s shoeshine
on her face.
Eat Pray Love: Various ethnic hats.
The Expendables: Berets.
Eat Pray Love: Ketut, Liz’s toothless, Balinese spiritual sage.
The Expendables: Tool (Rourke again), tattoo artist and wise man: “I want to die with someone who counts. I want to do it lying next to a woman.”
Eat Pray Love: Liz’s actor boyfriend, David (James Franco), appears in a play that includes the nonsense line “Looking into your eyes, I hear dolphins clapping.”
The Expendables: Rourke goes on an impromptu, likely improvised ramble about how Statham’s head would look really cool with a big Charlotte’s Web–style spiderweb on it.
Eat Pray Love: Liz’s retro two-wheeler.
The Expendables: Lee Christmas’s (Jason Statham) chopper.
Eat Pray Love: Delia’s husband cuttingly remarks, “You know how people start resembling their dogs? You used to look like Stephen (Billy Crudup). Now you kind of look like David (Franco).” Liz’s matching extends to countries as well — despite only having one bag, her wardrobe changes 100 percent at each new destination.
The Expendables: Men who kill together dress together, or at least that’s what Stallone and Statham’s coordinated ensembles suggest.
Eat Pray Love: The mystical, meaningful-in-undisclosed-ways image that Ketut gives Liz (below).
The Expendables: Both Stallone’s intense, dark, very butch tattoos (above), and Sandra’s obsessive ink drawings of women, the explanation for which did not make it out of the editing room.
Eat Pray Love: Before Richard from Texas cleaned up and came to the ashram in India, he was a drunk who almost ran his son over in the driveway.
The Expendables: Mickey Rourke could have saved a girl, but he didn’t, and then she killed herself, and he feels really bad about it.
Eat Pray Love: Of all the food in Italy.
The Expendables: Of all the men and buildings in Vilena.