Meryl Streep and Amy Adams star in the movie Julie and Julia. It is the latest script written by Nora Ephron. I took a front row seat on opening day. I love to cook myself and was looking forward to learning more about Julia Child. Of course, Meryl was magnificent as Julia and captivated us while she was on screen. Her accent, look and vibrant love for cooking were inspiring as was her portrayal of Julia's marriage to Paul Child, played by Stanley Tucci. Amy Adams was not so fortunate. Her character lacked the charisma Julia did and I found myself bored early on. The movie could have been more interesting and done just as well focusing more on Julia Child. Most of of my generation certainly has heard of Julia but were unaware of her biography. I brought my 19 year old daughter along because she never heard of Julia Child. I figured she was a role model worth knowing. She lead an interesting life and did not start cooking until after age 40. That was inspiring to a 48 year old facing empty nest syndrome! Stanley Tucci held his own along side Meryl Streep. Julia’s whit and charm melted even the French. Her determination and ability to laugh at mistakes made cooks everywhere ready to tackle a harder recipe.
The character Julie was also inspired by Julia and decided to cook her way through Julia’s “Master French Cooking” cook book. She was unfulfilled in her dead end job and quit writing which was her true passion. She decided to make all 547 recipes of Julia’s in one year. She blogs the experience; thus, getting back to writing. Her husband supports her in the beginning but becomes irritated with her self involvement. Her mother, performance only by phone by Mary Kay Place, is a riot. Overall though, Julie cannot captivate the way Julia can.
Although I enjoy Nora’s writing, there were some inconsistencies. Perhaps it was for laughs, but Julie’s best friend tells her she is a bitch. That really was not Julie’s character. Also, Julia was characterized as this generous over the top individual, yet we are informed she is neither impressed nor interested in Julie’s attempt to cook her recipes and blog the experience. That was inconsistent with her character and ended the movie for me on a bad note. On a personal note, I did not appreciate the standard liberal knock at Republicans pointed in one scene. It was unnecessary and really had nothing to do with the movie. Most of the audience did not laugh, the audience was older, and Nora only showed her political bias. Hollywood should recognize Republicans are half of the population and we pay for movie tickets too!
I give this movie a 7. Most performances are strong. The movie was a little long mostly when Julie was on screen. The food looked delicious and made me appreciate a good dish even more. I left the theatre salivating and hungry for some of that French Stew. There were a couple of morals but the one I left with as most important was you can never use too much butter!