From the first time I saw the first promo for the soon to be released movie, Julie and Julia, I knew that I had to see it, preferably with a bunch of women friends, all of whom had been through their "Julia Child" period. Meryl Streep's performance looked amazing.
I waited anxiously (most of the summer, I believe) for the release date.
When we were in France, Char, Pat and I talked about going to see it together, but there were the logistics of getting three of us from three different parts of the state together.
When we were at Lake Tahoe this past weekend (coincidentally, opening weekend of the movie), we all wanted to see it and talked about going together in a group.
I got home from Tahoe and read the review written by my boss, Derrick Bang, which was a rave review. Of Meryl Streep's performance he wrote,
...with “Julie & Julia,” Streep has taken celebrity impersonation to a level rarely achieved in the movies: a portrayal so uncannily accurate that artifice essentially replaces reality. Cate Blanchett caught Katharine Hepburn that well in “The Aviator”; Streep has done the same here.
Her Julia Child is simply astonishing.
Nice to have my opinion backed by a competent authority. The bits and pieces I'd seen on TV looked like she really nailed the character.
For those who aren't familiar with the story, a young writer (Julie Powell, who published the book on which half of this movie is based) is working in a boring job in a cubicle taking abuse from people who are trying to get assistance after 9/11 while all of her friends are climbing corporate ladders to high prestige jobs. She and her husband are living in a 900 sq. ft. flat in Queens, over a pizza parlor and she's in the depths of depression, because she's a writer but she isn't writing.
At her husband's suggestion, she starts a blog to honor her idol, Julia Child. The plan is to make all 500+ recipes in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" over 365 days and to blog about her experiences.
(I loved it that Derrick said "Blogs, it must be remembered, were fairly revolutionary back in '02." I poined out to him that I started mine in 2000!)
The parallel story in the movie is the story of Julia Child and her husband Paul, how they came to Paris, how Julia enrolled in the Cordon Bleu out of boredom (and a love of food) and how she came to collaborate with Simone Beck and Louisette Berthole to write "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" (and the frustrating 8 years it took to get it to print!)
I contacted all the women from Tahoe to see if anybody wanted to see the movie this week. Already three had other plans, but there was a tentative date for three of us to see the movie today, and then one's plans changed and it was just two of us left. I was determined to see the movie today!
So Rosemarie and I went to the late afternoon showing. There was a line of mostly middle-aged women at the box office, all of whom ended up in the theatre showing Julie & Julia.
The movie did not disappoint. I loved every single minute of it. In fact if anybody else wants to see the movie, I'd love to see it again.
(Aside -- Julia's sister is played by the marvelous Jane Lynch, whom I seem to see everywhere on TV these days. I just love her!)
I knew midway through the movie, when Julie and her husband were watching a Saturday Night Live parody of Julia Child that I had to write a blog entry about it so I could include the Video of the Day, the 13 year old Paul's imitation of Julia Child. It's called Sparky Juice and it is Paul making a drink out of our cat Sparky. A family favorite and it still makes me laugh all these years later.
By the end of the movie I was ready to come home and cook boef bourguignon, if (a) I had the ingredients, (b) it didn't take 3 hours to prepare and cook, and (c) it wasn't already 7 p.m.! Instead I put together a somewhat weird dinner of artichoke and bruschetta with some leftovers from the Tahoe dinner. Definitely not anything to do with "mastering the art of french cooking"!! This is a terrific movie! Don't read any negative reviews, just do yourself a favor and go see it. Maybe you could put a pot of boef bourguignon on to simmer before you leave the house. You'll be oh so happy when you come home and have it all ready for dinner!