Friday, August 21, 2009

Julie & Julia

 you might have guessed by the title of the post (if you were aware of the movie) Mom and I went to see the movie "Julie & Julia".

It is a combination of the story of Julia Child, when she lived in France and decided to go to cooking school, etc., etc. and the story of Julie Powell who 50-some years later decided to cook her way through Julia Child's cookbook and blog about the process. (To kind of sum it all up anyway.)

I'll start by saying that it is a PG-13 movie, and while there's some passionate kissing, shall I put it...implications of other things, it's nothing terrible. :) And hey, they're married at least. (Basically since it's nothing inappropriate and it shows how much in love they are, I think it helped the story, or at least pushed it into the romantic comedy genre well.) There is the occasional bad word too, so if either of those things will offend you, then maybe you shouldn't watch it.

Okay...disclaimers aside, how was the movie? Very good! (If you haven't seen the movie, this may include some spoilers.)
I don't think I would consider if very much of a biographical sort of movie merely about Julia Child's cooking, since it brought in so much about her relationship with her husband and how supportive he was of her, etc., and same with the Julie Powell portion of the story.

I must say I liked the Julia Child part better though. The part about Julie Powell was rather stereotypical, though still good, and they had a cute little orange cat. (And I can't seem to find a picture of the cat! Oh looked like an orange cat...medium-sized.) That helped redeem that part. If there were no cat, or it had been a dog, I'm not sure I would have been able to stand it as well. :) The cat added a human touch to something that was a little too screen written. Basically, I didn't feel much sympathy for Amy Adams' rather feminist character. Feminist through cooking even (cooking to get recognition through her blog). A review I saw said this:

"Amy Adams made the best of a a clunkily written part with scenes set in 2002-03 New York that don’t seem to represent exchanges that could occur between actual human beings, saved those living in the imaginary realm of feminist writers. None of the men had lives or personalities outside of their relationship to the leading women. We didn’t even know that Powell’s husband Eric had a job until he walked out on her (for reasons that just didn’t seem believable.) In short, the tension between Julie and Eric seemed contrived. And their reconciliation fake."

"He [Eric] doesn't like being called a saint, the poor thing," says another review. :D

Yes, definitely there were things that didn't seem realistic at all about Julie and Eric though my general impression was that the movie was adorable. Let me put it this way, Julia Child was adorable in a way I could empathize with, Julie in a simply movie-ish way. Actually I found Julie rather annoying in a few spots.

On the other hand, I feel like there was a lot of work put into little details to make Julia and Paul's relationship and story and characters believable. And Meryl Streep is a very good actress as well.

First all the things thrown in about her height and how she and her sister are so TALL and Julia's taller than her husband. And they plan to introduce her sister to a man who's actually taller than her and she ends up falling for a much shorter man, and he for her with no difficulty, despite their planning. :) It amused me because I was thinking "Goodness, how tall was Julia Child?! She and her sister can't have been that tremendously tall..."
Turns out she was 6'2"! That definitely is tall...I tend to think I'm tall, but that's 7.5 inches more height than I have!

And then there is one scene where Paul mentions politics to sort of bait his father-in-law, and then when Julia takes it seriously and gets ready to start arguing with her father too, her husband pulls her out onto the dance floor shushing her kindly, while she laughs about how she never knows when to be quiet. I thought that was cute. :)

Anyway, I can't recap the whole movie, but Mom and I enjoyed it and laughed a lot. Meanwhile, Dad stayed home with Colin and played Candyland. :/ Poor Dad. I don't know if he would have liked the movie or not, though. He probably would have though. If you can stand to watch a Jane Austen movie you could watch this. :D

Here's the trailer for it, although I realized that I saw things in the trailer that apparently didn't make the final cut for the movie!:


Caroline said...

I loved that movie! It was really cute, and Meryle Streep was excellent for Julia!

Gosh, some of that food looked marvelous! especially the cake, and the tomato toast stuff. (Go to 1:00 minute in the preview) YUMMMM!!!

Caroline said...

(OH I just watched the trailer again- That yummy cake, and toast thing are also at 2:05-2:09

Natalie said...

Oh yeah, the toast stuff looked especially good!

Actually, I made something kind of like that the other day. Brushed the bread with olive oil mixed with some garlic powder, toasted it in the oven, and then topped it with a mixture of fresh tomato, basil, olive oil, and salt and pepper.