Opening night and I was there in the theatre watching Julie and Julia!How exciting! Our friends Mike & Jen came with us who have witnessed my foodie journey for years now, so lovely to have great company, and our cashier at the concessions was actually named Julia, how perfect.
From the commercials, I knew Meryl Streep was going to portray Julia Child perfectly and I was right. Not a stereotype but her essence was on the screen. I loved learning even more about Julia Child from watching her story in the theatre and not just from the book. Like so many girls and women, I grew up with Julia. My mom would watch her cooking show on many afternoons. I would marvel at how my mom would love to watch Julia cook the most amazing meals, completely entranced. Then be saddened to hear a deep sigh come from her when the program was over and watch her mentally prepare to make dinner on a budget for four kids who did not like anything the same. I can not imagine how much of a kitchen fantasy it must have been for her to watch Julia make real French food.
I have been a huge fan of the book Julie and Juliafrom the moment my sister Shannon‘s Christmas parcel showed up in the mail. I absolutely devoured Julie’s story, enjoying every literary bite. It reminded me of how much I love to be in the kitchen, learning about food. It got me through great dark times of my life which I am still struggling through and finding inspiration from culinary challenges. Julie helped me embrace my inner foodie and reminded me that we can be real and ourselves even when everything falls apart.
This brings me to my one major criticism of the movie: the portrayal of Julie Powell. Amy Adams is of course lovely and adorable and so very likable but where is the tough-as-nails kitchen warrior who could make a sailor blush with her cursing?! If you read some of the reviews of Julie and Julia on Amazon you will see many people criticizing the book for its intense language but that was one of the things I love about Julie! Yes, she has many moments of breaking down but she gets up and takes on the world after she fumes in frustration.
Perhaps they were trying to tone down the movie to make sure the ratings stayed PG or something but I did not like this change. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of Julia’s joie de vivre philosophy next to Julie’s intensity and foul language. It makes me wonder if the author sees herself more like a child sniveling on the kitchen floor than how I see her, a pirate in the kitchen? Maybe I am remembering it wrong but I know she is tougher than the Julie in the movie.
The movie was entertaining, informative and inspiring. To find joy in the kitchen at any stage in life is exciting and is a story that I can connect to. Like the book, the movie helped give me a nudge back into my kitchen to create my own culinary blogging stories. Thank you Julie & Julia!