“Julie & Julia”
a review by Darby O’Gill

I know, not the type of movie you would expect to find here, but I’m all about breaking the mold. Truth be told, I was home over the holidays and my mother made me watch it. Also, my grandmother was a huge Julia Child fan, and I grew up watching her show with my gram in my younger years, so I was a little interested to see Meryl Streep’s portrayal of her. But, that’s not to say I wouldn’t be more than happy to give any film a fair chance. I do also realize that this is another Amy Adams’ movie, and if you read my Leap Year review, you all know how I feel about her. It’s not that much of a problem in this film, because she’s not really the lead; she kind of shares that title with Streep. Although, just for the record, it is still more Amy Adams than I would like. Enough of this tomfoolery, let’s get to the review.

Julie & Julia mainly takes place in 2002, and tells the story of Julie Powell, played by Amy Adams, who has just moved to New York with her husband, played by Chris Messina, and finds herself looking for an escape from her day job job at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation‘s call center. She decides to start a blog, but she isn’t quite sure what to blog about, until she comes up with the idea of cooking every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook, and giving herself a year in which to do it. The other part of this story takes place in 1949, when Julia Child, played by Meryl Streep, and her husband Paul, played by Stanley Tucci, have just moved to Paris for Paul’s job at the American Embassy. Julia is looking for something to fill her time while Paul’s at work, and starts her cooking career. She finds it hard however to learn from the French cookbooks, and realizes that there are no American French cookbook. Therefore, she decides to publish her own cookbook where the French recipes would be a little easier for American cooks to follow.

Okay, let’s cut to the chase. I wasn’t a big fan of this movie. The one thing I did find impressive, other than Meryl Streep’s performance, was writer/director Nora Ephron’s ability to intertwine Julie Powell’s novel Julie & Julia with Julia Child and Alex Prud’humme’s My Life in France. By finding the parallels in these two women’s lives, and making the movie just as much about Julia Child’s life, as it is about Julie’s blog challenge, was this film’s saving grace. Well, that and Meryl Streep’s amazing performance. She really embodied the essences of Julia Child in this movie. It’s probably not much of a shock, that I would have enjoyed this movie 100% more, if it was just a story about Julia Child, and skipped all the Amy Adams stuff. I think the movie is better than most would suspect, but in the end it’s just not that satisfying, and leaves you just plain hungry… literally.

Rating:


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