Book #20 – Julie & Julia – the movie
Last night my mom and I went to see Julie & Julia. First thing I need to note: this was a comedy. Why were all the previews about movies that have to do with people dying? Talk about a downer. I mean, c’mon, think about your audience. Most of which, at this theatre on opening night, were middle-aged women who will probably not want to watch a movie about some murderer stepfather.
Okay, so on to the main event, the combined memoirs of Julia Child, who revolutionized how American women cook, and Julie Powell, who almost lost her sanity by cooking through Child’s The Art of Mastering French Cooking. While driving away from the theatre, my mom said that she liked the movie better than the book. And you know what? I think I have to agree.
Meryl Streep was fantastic as Julia Child. There were parts of her sections of the movie that made me laugh until I cried. I loved her determination and her positivity. Amy Adams was probably a less crass version of Julie Powell, but she was lovable and relatable nonetheless.
Also, as movies based on books usually do, the movie simplified the story. And in this case, I think it worked in favour of the overall story. Out were the conversations with Julie’s friends who only dated men with the same name or took off to have an affair with a British musician. Out also were the anecdotes from before Paul fell in love with Julia. It was just Julie and Julia and the parallels of their lives.
One thing I really liked about both the book and the the movie is that Julie and Julie’s husbands are portrayed as partners of their wives. They don’t just stand back while their wives tackle their projects alone. They’re supportive, they struggle when their wives struggle. Paul became an important part of the development of not only Julia’s cookbook, but her own joy of cooking. Eric became sous-chef and dishwasher to keep Julie’s recipe and blog project going. Of course, after the book as published, Julie went and had an affair. But I think that just shows that once you’ve realized that marriage needs to be a partnership, it’s not the end of the story and everyone lives happily ever after. It’s a decision that has to be made over and over again, to keep that partnership going.
Okay, that little speech went on much longer than intended. Back to the movie.
Julie & Julia was definitely enjoyable. And I can’t forget to mention the food. Oh, the food! Everything looked so oh oh delicious. I think I may have to take a French cooking class. I wonder if enrollment in such classes will go up after the release of this movie.
I don’t usually rate movies, but I think I will in this case. I gave Julie & Julia the book a rating of 7.6, but I’m going to give the movie an 8.2.