It may come as a bit of a shock to some that the most interesting turns in the woman-on-a-quest sojourn don't belong to Roberts, luminous though she is. Those are owned by a number of misty-eyed if masculine menfolk.
Politics and economics hardly exist; each place is populated chiefly by wise exotics who talk funny (including Richard Jenkins' Texan in the ashram) and exist solely to spout slogans and tell stories that make Liz's problems seem small.
It provides a gorgeous escape, exquisitely photographed and full of female wish fulfillment. Yet it also offers sufficient emotional heft and self-discovery to make you feel as if you've actually learned something.