A government bureaucrat who likes to cook and idolizes Julia Child starts a blog, becomes famous, and writes a book which is made into a movie. Story of my life? Well, er, not yet. It’s Julie and Julia, the movie that I recently saw.
Julie and Julia is based on two books, Julie Powell’s book from her blog in which she cooks every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year, and Julia Child’s memoir, My Life in France. Apparently, Nora Ephron saw parallels in the two women’s stories and thought the combination would be compelling. There are parallels, but they are superficial. Both women used cooking as a way to divert themselves from the humdrum aspects of their lives. But whereas Julia Child is passionate about food and about life, the Julie of the movie seemed whiny and uptight. Julie gets upset when her recipes don’t work, whereas Julia Child just says oh well, and moves on.
While I fantasize about being fearless like Julia Child, unfortunately, I related much more to the annoying and self-involved Julie. Although I was jealous of the success of her blog. When she discusses the number of comments she receives (from people she doesn’t know!), I wondered why that doesn’t happen with my blog! Hmm…..
The movie is also about the women’s relationships with their husbands, Julia’s being warm and loving, and Julie’s being strained as she struggles to get through her Julie/Julia project in the timeframe she alloted herself, ignoring her “saint” husband’s needs in favor of her own. As this is a Nora Ephron movie, it does have a happy ending. Julie’s blog becomes a book and she becomes the writer she’s always wanted to be, and Julia publishes her classic cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and is on her way to becoming the Julia Child we know so well.
The acting is this movie is great, with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams as the leads. Stanley Tucci is always good, and my fave, the woman who plays Sue Sylvester on Glee, has a small role as Julia Child’s sister. I recommend the movie, especially if you like to cook, although it’s not a movie that features food in the way others like Babette’s Feast, Big Night, or Eat, Drink, Man, Woman do.
And if you have any suggestions for making my blog as successful as Julie Powell’s (short of cooking through Julia Child’s cookbook), send them my way!