Julie & Julia

Meryl Streep has channeled Julia Child. She is marvelous. I love her. Like Julia, I love food and I love cooking, so this movie spoke to me, though I am sure you could be culinarily impaired and still enjoy it on many levels. It is very frequently very funny and just plain fun to watch.


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The story is two women separated by 50+ years find themselves at loose ends and both of them find their salvation through food. Julia Child happens to be stationed with her Foreign Service husband in France and boredom takes her to cooking school at the Cordon Bleu which leads her to write that first cookbook which launched her onto the American culinary scene. The Julie is Julie Powell, a young woman just about to turn 30, working for some government agency dealing with the 9/11 victims, who decides to take a year and cook her way through Julia Child’s first cookbook and blog about it. It is a way for her to reignite her once promising writing career.

Cutting back and forth between the modern Julie’s trials and tribulations and Julia’s mostly wonderful escapades we are supposed to draw some connection, yet there really isn’t any. They are very different women with very different attitudes and lives. Amy Adams as Julie is not entirely lovable. Sure, you want her to succeed, but mostly, you just want the story to get back to Julia and her husband played wonderfully warm and sexy by Stanley Tucci. It’s like the Julia part is the meat with a wonderful buttery sauce and the Julie part is, well, just a side dish. Julie has mean girlfriends and a not so nice Mom and a dreary job. All she really has is the blog and a nice husband. But Julia lives in Paris, or Marseille or Oslo, having been stationed in China before. She has a life. She goes to the Cordon Bleu and shops at the street markets in Paris. That’s the meat. And she is alive to the ends of her toes. It is one of those performances where you feel sorry for the other actors in the movie. Meryl must have had such fun with this role. We all do our Julia Child impressions, but she got to get inside it and live it.

Be prepared to leave hungry, but not for anything without butter. I am sitting here craving a baguette and butter to dip into a big pot of boeuf bourguignon. I do have my very nice glass of red. And my cookbooks. Time for a dinner party.

“Life itself is the proper binge.” –Julia Child

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3 Comments

  1. Adventurous Chick, August 9, 2009:

    I agree… Meryl Streep’s performance is absolutely delicious. (Oscar worthy perhaps?) And I also agree that Amy Adams’ part is mostly filler. Whenever it was Julie’s story on screen all I could think was, let’s get back to Julia! Stanley Tucci is marvelous as Julia’s charming, supportive, and sexy husband Paul and seeing him and Meryl together on screen was just a joy.

    This is a chick flick worthy of “seconds” so I’ll most likely see it again while it’s in theaters and definitely when it comes out on DVD. Don’t miss it!

  2. Arty Chick, August 10, 2009:

    I did meet Julia once at the Beverly Center. She was signing her last cookbook book at the Barnes and Noble and I was buying a birthday present for Laurence, so seeing her there decided on the spot to get a signed copy for him. I had no idea she would be there, and there was no one waiting in line for her, so I walked right up and she signed it. Now I wish I’d known ahead of time and sat down and chatted. If she was half as interesting and fun as the movie makes her out to be, it would have been wonderful. As it was I told her how much I enjoyed her show and her books over the years, and she was gracious and thanked me. I hate missed opportunities.

  3. Mainstream Chick, November 21, 2009:

    I finally saw “Julie and Julia” on a recent plane ride. The Julie part (Amy Adams) is good, but the Julia part (Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci) is definitely better. I can’t imagine anyone but Streep playing Julia half as well. (I can’t really same the same for Adams/Julie). I highly recommend this flick for a fun “dinner and a movie” combo. Pop in the DVD and cook up something French. Bon Appetit!

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