Friday, August 14, 2009

Blogging about "Julie and Julia"

I saw the new movie "Julie and Julia" last night and I must admit I am still very much in love with films by Nora Ephron, even when they are downright silly. This wasn't silly and in fact turned out to be something of a romp. The premise of this storyline is that Amy Adams, who plays real life New York blogger and writer Julie Powell decides to channel Julia 'Child, the author of "The Art of Mastering French Cooking" and a PBS television legend, played so incredibly by the delightful Meryl Streep. It is important to remember that this story takes sometime after 9/ll, when struggling writer Powell was employed helping families of victims of the Twin Tower tragedy and when Julia Child was quite elderly and still very much alive. The two lead very different, yet very similar lives insofar as they are both shown as newlywed couples. The Childs live in the McCarthy era at a time after the war when living in Europe could lead some to be suspected as foreign agents. The Powells are a very cute couple who move to Queens in search of more breathing room, only to land on top of a noisy pizzeria. Both Child and Powell are looking to give purpose to their lives. Adams decides that cooking her way through Child's 524 recipes in 365 days will give her life purpose and maybe spark increase interest in her writing. The blog she writes, "The Julie-Julia Project" documents the highlights and lowlights of Adams' character as she delves deeply into hitherto unknown culinary practices like trussing, boning and boiling lobsters. Powell's well-received book "Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously" was a best seller. Child's "My Life in France" was used as the basis for her scenes, especially those with husband Paul Child, played warmly by Stanley Tucci. Streep and Tucci's scenes are set in Paris and Marseilles, but much of the action takes place in restaurants, their kitchen and (gasp!) their bedroom. As to the film's characters, I was endeared by Adams, but let there be no mistake about it. I was enchanted and enthralled by Streep. She reflects the haughty and slightly irreverent spirit of Child and her speech patterns, guffaws and chortles are dead on. I was laughing hysterically at much of the script, which was also penned by director Ephron ("When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle"). It's definitely a chick flick. After all, what guys really want to see two independent women living their lives purposely and succeeding without their husbands' helping hands? Guess I'm not the macho, misogynistic type because I thought the film was just great. And any guy who disagrees, I would like to challenge them to a duel in the kitchen. I''ll belt them with my BĂ©arnaise and maul them with my Marchand du Vin. I'll hammer them with my Hollandaise and...well, you get the picture. Just one thing more. You are advised to eat ahead of seeing the movie. Some of the food shots are so delicious that my poor tummy was thinking dessert was going to be served. "Julie and Julia" is rated R for ravenous. Bon Appetit!

1 comment:

whalechaser said...

I was afraid to read your review because I have not yet seen the movie... and I so want to! I thought you might spoil it for me, but yours is the absolutely best review I have seen so far (I have only read about 50) Now I somehow have to fit it in on my 5 week trip through New England. I think I can...I think I can....