Julie & Julia
Starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, and Stanley Tucci
Directed by Nora Ephron (You’ve Got Mail)
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sensuality
Appropriate for ages 10+
A young modern-day woman named Julie (Adams) is tired of her life not having meaning, so she decides to start a blog that will lead her through every recipe of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child in a year’s time. Simultaneously, the movie explores the life of Julia Child (Streep) through her memoir My Life in France.
As you can tell from the description, this film is made up of two very different stories, told at the same time. This makes for an interesting approach to the script for a couple of reasons. First, it shows the modern day obsession with cooking and then the person responsible for making cooking popular on television. Secondly, the story of Julie alone would not have been enough to tell a compelling story, especially for a feature length film. The addition of the Julia Child storyline was much needed in order to make the film interesting enough to sit through.
A mutualistic relationship is not seen here though. It probably goes without saying that while Julie needs the Julia tale, the story of Julia would have been just fine without Julie. In fact it would have probably been better. It’s not that the modern tale is bad – it’s just that it pales in comparison. The performance by Adams is good enough, and while the strain in the relationship with her husband was a little forced, and some of her stresses were overly dramatic, it’s still bearable. The memorable part of the movie, however, is the world of Julia Child in 1950s France. The performance by Streep could very well earn her another Oscar nom and I have to admit that I ran right out to buy the book, and well, let’s just say I devoured it. Every part of the French story was entertaining and enthralling.
My sincere hope is that this film finds an audience as it is not a pic made for your typical movie-goer. If you consider yourself a food lover, travel lover, or a Streep lover, this is a must see film and will most likely make you a very satisfied customer. A-