I started thinking about the Julie and Julia movie when it was first announced, almost two years ago. I read the biography and autobiography of Julia Child. I bought the DVDs of The French Chef and giggled as I watched. I looked up Julie's blog online. I read Julie's book. I read Nora Ephron's book. The first picture I saw of Meryl Streep as Julia warmed my heart to no end. But then I saw another picture. And another. And I read few articles about this project. And some more. And some more. And some blog posts. And some more articles. And some reviews. And some blog reviews. And I was utterly overwhelmed and unenthused.
Maybe I read too many Dining Sections of newspapers, or too many food blogs, but the press for this movie has been really overwhelming hasn't it?! If I see one more blog post on it -- right. I'm writing one. I tried not to. I really did try. Because I know how annoying it is to read the same thing over and over again. But last night I went to see the movie. And I just had to.
Though many claim the movie was "half-baked" (oh you're so clever, I saw this title like 9 times) because "Meryl Streep eats young actresses for breakfast" (A.O. Scott, NYTimes, love it), I didn't think it was quite as extreme as that. Sure, Meryl Streep did kind of eat Amy Adams for breakfast. But it was okay, because I smiled just as much when Julie and her husband were on the screen as I did when Julia and her husband were. Sure, I laughed out loud a lot more in Meryl's scenes, but that's because she was playing Julia Child, who is hilarious. The movie was much funnier than I thought it would be.
At the end of the day, I felt that I could really relate to both characters. They convinced me. And the most touching (and surprising) part of the movie is that it is really about relationships. It's about Julia and Paul, Julie and Eric - couples facing the world together. They were supportive and loving, and I couldn't help but tear up every time Eric or Paul took a bite of something that Julie or Julia cooked for them - because they were so in love, and they so loved the food, and the food was so delicious because it was made with love. And no matter how frustrated Julie or Julia got while cooking, no matter how many dishes there were to do or how many potato pancakes fell on the floor, the food was delicious. They made it with love.
So that's what I have to say. Can you tell I'm a romantic sap? Enjoy the movie.
Images copyright Columbia Pictures.