I must start this post by saying I absolutely adored everything about this movie from the actors to the characters to the story lines (both of them) to the scenery to the dialogue to the dishes that were cooked to everything. Doug from Bullshish posted his review of the movie (found here) and actually said while he didn’t find the Julie storyline as interesting as the Julia storyline, he still enjoyed the movie. But I must say I disagree with him on this aspect for more personal reasons.
First, I LOVE to cook. I love everything about cooking, especially cooking things from scratch. From the sixth grade and beyond I watched the Food Network channel A LOT more than I care to admit. Now I am constantly recording episodes of Alton Brown and The Barefoot Contessa (just two of the many shows I watch) to see how exactly they hold the knife when chopping onions, and how much you should really pay for good, quality meat, and just what are the best cuts of meat because this stuff matters people! I print recipes off line, make them and sometimes quite a few come out better than I expect. My favorite chef is Jamie Oliver (who I stayed up to watch on the weekends when his poor little show was on at midnight) and I own every single one of his cookbooks. I think the reason I loved Julie’s storyline is that I have attempted to make a little progress through these books. Mind you, I have not attempted over 500 recipes in a year, but have you ever taken a huge cookbook, opened up to a particular section, picked a recipe and tried to make it? One of those “you have to add the egg in at this PRECISE moment and mix it in for this EXACT amount of time because if you go any over the time limit you will have scrambled eggs with your pasta but if you go any under you will have raw eggs with your pasta?” No? You haven’t? Well it isn’t as easy as they make it look on T.V. people. Amy Adams did a spectacular job playing Julie and I really do think she conveyed the emotions you get when trying to make a meal from scratch. Standing there, reading the recipe and talking to Julia– yes, I’ve done that. Cried when she couldn’t get the stuffing in the chicken? I cried when I burned a batch of fried green tomatoes, on my third attempt no less. Got in a fight with her husband? I’ve yelled and been yelled at by my grandmother while cooking. I’ve been there and sometimes it isn’t fun. I couldn’t even imagine doing it almost daily, though it is very, very tempting.
Second, I grew up with a grandmother who also loved to cook. She reminds me of Julia in a way; whenever we are in the kitchen cooking and I make a mistake I tend to get really upset with myself and she always tells me that it is okay, mistakes happen and then she manages to fix it. Please don’t ask me how, but when it comes to food the woman is just simply amazing. And that is what I got with Julia in the movie. That woman was fearless, never apologized and found a way to make it happen. Meryl Streep did an absolutely brilliant job at perfecting the voice and mannerisms of the infamous chef and I thoroughly enjoyed her performance. Meryl also was adorable shopping in the streets of Paris. Oh, Paris. So often you are associated with gross, nasty, rude people who don’t shave and wear striped shirts and berets. And sometimes that is true (well more so with the gross, nasty, rude people who don’t shave, not the striped shirts and berets) but listen to me Internet. When you go to Paris everything changes. You walk the streets and to your left there are the most beautiful tomatoes and peppers and every assortment of vegetables you could imagine. And the colors are so rich, and the smells are so appetizing, and the vendors are so lovely you just want to take one of everything. When I was there I seriously got very, very sad I didn’t have a place to cook delicious meals with these amazing foods. This movie made me miss Paris (and Europe in general) but through Julia I got to relive that beautiful month I spent in France.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I loved this movie so, so much but for more personal reasons than storylines. I found the dialogue to be hilarious, sad, touching, and heartwarming. The costumes were wonderful, the sets were wonderful (what I wouldn’t give to have Julia’s kitchen) and the acting was superb. I will absolutely recommend this movie to anyone and everyone and I can not wait to add it to my collection. Now if you will excuse me, it is time for dinner and I have to go put on my pearls.