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Julie & Julia

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 I had an opportunity to attend a local premiere of the movie Julie & Julia last night. I knew very little about the movie, and didn’t know what to expect. I loved it.

I went with my mom because my husband steadfastly refuses to see “chick flicks”. I wouldn’t really classify this as a chick flick, but I still don’t think my husband would have sat through it (nothing gets blown up). Still, there is no cheesy love story or ludicrous plot, and I think this would appeal to a variety of people. The movie is based on two true stories, that of Julia Child and that of Julie Powell. Julia Child, as everyone knows, was one of the first famous TV chefs, and responsible for introducing America to can-do French cuisine. Julie Powell, as I did not know until recently, is a blogger who set about to cook through all of the over 500 recipes in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”…in 365 days. Her feat is documented on her Julie/Julia Project blog, and eventually a book based on her experiences.

As a blogger and a foodie, it was delightful seeing a movie based around these two interests. Although I was familiar with Julia Child, I really knew very little about her. The little glimpses into her life were eye-opening and inspiring. Having watched the trailer (which doesn’t do the movie justice) and a clip of Meryl Streep as Julia, I was worried about how well she would pull off the caricature of such an icon. Meryl Streep nailed it (I would call her performance award-worthy). I found that I didn’t spend any time fretting over how well Meryl Streep would mimic Julia’s voice or mannerisms (she perfected them), but instead found myself utterly transported and intrigued by Julia Child’s boundless enthusiasm, her indifference to adversity, her determination and the tender relationship she shared with her husband.

I was equally inspired by Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams), who despite having a rather trying full-time job (dealing with the consequences of 9/11), found the time to make all the recipes she set out to complete, some of them quite complicated. She persisted despite setbacks, disappointment, and the urge to quit. She had a passion for cooking and writing, and her passion and hard work led her to become famous. If you truly love what you do, there is no telling where it will take you.

Going into the movie, I was unsure how on earth two separate books could be adapted without the result being dizzying and confusing. I have not yet read either of the books. As it turned out, the movie cleverly intertwines the two stories by focusing on the similarities between the two womens’ experiences, of which there are many. For example, we are introduced to the characters as Julia Child and her husband take up residence in Paris, and Julie Powell and her husband move from Brooklyn to Queens. It is endearing to see how the loving support and enthusiasm of family and friends helps both women to achieve their dreams.

So, there you have it. I don’t like to do movie reviews, because I think so many other people do a much better job of it, but I just had to tell you about this movie because I really enjoyed it. Sure, it’s light-weight as far as the plot is concerned, but I was inspired and got some good laughs. It’s a refreshing, light-hearted movie for summer, and I would like to see it again!

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