7/28/2009

Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Julia Child and Food Blogging: Julie & Julia, the Movie


Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Nora Ephron, Julia Child, food blogging and French food are great ingredients for a feel-good summer movie, and some of my favorite topics. Mix in a couple of true stories about finding and pursuing passion, bake at 350 for an hour and a half and you've got a movie that most people who cook will enjoy.

Meryl Streep is divine, as usual. Beautiful Streep becomes the towering, awkward-looking Julia Child with that unforgettable voice. Half of the movie tells the story of of Julia Child's life based on the fab book My Life in France, by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme (Child's grandnephew). Meryl Streep's portrayal of Child left me wishing that the movie was 80% about Julia Child's life and 20% about Julia Powell, the frustrated writer trapped in a boring, office job who decided to cook every one of Julia Child's recipes (all 524 of them) from the cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking within a year's time.

A true story, Julie Powell had a clever idea. The then unpublished author blogged about the ups and downs of her cooking experiences, both triumphs and disasters. She struck a chord with many, including me, who see food as much more than sustenance. I bought the book when it first came out and was sadly disappointed. I could relate to her experiences with trying new recipes, she was just an ordinary woman (like me) seeking challenge, solace and contentment in a cookbook, and bonding with an extraordinary icon at the same time. Yet most of Julia Powell's details about other aspects in her life besides cooking simply bored me, so much so that I stopped reading Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously half way through the book. The movie doesn't suffer from that flaw because we have Meryl Streep as Julia Child and Amy Adams who made me like Julie Powell more than I would have otherwise.

Thanks to Nora Ephron for bringing major trends that haven't yet sunk into the over 50 population to the big screen. Just as You've Got Mail (with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks) introduced the general movie-going-public to email, Julia & Julia does so with food blogging. Now I can have my grandparents, for instance, who have never read a blog (or for that matter used a computer) see the movie to get a better understanding about what I do.

There were many scenes in the movie that I could relate to: personal fulfillment and challenges of blogging, joys and adventures of cooking, living abroad, experimenting with life and most of all pursuing passion. Thank you dear readers for being a big part of that. This would be a good time to offer free tickets to the movie. Sorry, I don't have any... Isn't it the thought that counts?

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2 comments:

Jin said...

i wish it was like 90 percent julia child and 10 percent julie powell. made me want to go buy mastering the art of french cooking but it's freakin $40. was it always that expensive? gotta save up. great post!

Alli411 said...

Jin: Thanks Jin. Yeah, 90 percent would be great. You prob can pick up a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking at a thrift store for a buck or two.