Movie Review: Julie and Julia
Julie and Julia, now out on DVD, is a charming romantic comedy – drama, based on two bestselling memoirs, that intertwines the lives of chef Julia Child (Meryl Streep) with that of Julie Powell (Amy Adams), who blogs her attempts at cooking all 524 recipes in Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking within a year. Both women, though living in different eras and environments, find themselves frustrated with their lives and seek to find an outlet by whipping up delectable dishes. Both women, supported by empathetic spouses, seek to find themselves, as they struggle to attain common goals.
This film is sensually seductive, as many of the scenes take place in (the 1940’s/ ’50’s era) France and the food is a veritable feast for the eyes. Warning: Do not watch this film during Lent or any other time when you are fasting.
Meryl Streep does an excellent job portraying Julia Child. I watched Julia on PBS for many years, more for entertainment purposes than for instruction, although I did pick up a good cooking tip every now and then. I loved to imitate Julia’s accent and entertain friends with it, but Streep has it down pat. In fact, she does an amazing job of portraying the delightfully warm Julia Child, skillfully imitating her endearing voice and gestures.
While I laughed out loud several times, what I truly enjoyed most about Julie and Julia was watching the interaction between both sets of spouses. When Julia experiences both struggles and triumphs, her husband, Paul, is there for her, encouraging her, commenting in one scene, “Your book is going to change the world.” During another scene, he publicly espouses his love for her, toasting to her in the company of friends. Julie’s consistently good-humored husband encourages her in her cooking endeavors, rescues her from a near cooking disaster when a lobster attempts to escape from its cauldron, endures her “melt-downs” and cooking – blog obsession, until it takes a toll on their marriage, when he departs for a brief period only to faithfully return to her and to share in her triumph.
What I didn’t care for about this film was: some mildly offensive language (which was unnecessary), a political bias and put-down, the fleeting non-explicit sex scenes (unnecessary — More could have been left up to the imagination.)
Having said that, this film is a charming romantic comedy, which adult married couples will enjoy. If you are into blogging, cooking, and writing, as I am, Julie and Julia will capture your heart.