Julie & Julia
– Three stars (out of four)
– Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sensuality.
– Who’s going to like it: all women and the men they drag to it, anyone who likes to cook, anyone who like Streep and/or Adams, and everyone who likes Dan Akroyd’s Saturday Night Live Julia Child sketch
You may ask yourself, “How can a movie about Julia Child being entertaining?” Julie & Julie answers that several different ways: Hire Meryl Streep to play her, blend the story with a present-day character that people can connect to and hire Amy Adams (Enchanted) to play her. Instead of being a boring character piece target for a female audience, Julie & Julia is a delightful film that any adult, young or old, will enjoy.
Julie & Julia blends two real-life stories about women whose lives were changed by food. Julia Child’s story is fairly well-known – a tall, always-happy woman with a unique voice became a master chef, starred in a television cooking program and wrote the most famous French cuisine cookbook in America. On the other hand, unless you’ve read her book, Julie Powell’s story is unknown.
In 2002, Julie Powell was feeling down and out in New York City. While all of her friends were off being successful, Julie was working a depressing job involving helping those devastated by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, she had written half of a novel that no publisher would touch and was about to turn 30 with nothing to show for it. With inspiration from her husband, Julie decided to start a daily blog on which she would share her experiences about her new goal: cooking all 524 recipes from Child’s cookbook in 365 days.
The film bounces back and forth from Child’s to Powell’s story, frequently showing life events that mirrored one another’s – and that’s definitely the most important thing that keeps this film interesting through the entire two hours. You’re never stuck in one story for long enough to get burned out on it.
As always, both Streep and Adams are constantly fun to watch on the screen. And because they never share a single scene together, I wouldn’t be surprised if they each earn the Best Leading Actress nomination at this year’s Academy Awards. Both are absolutely fantastic.
While Julie & Julia may sound like it’s a film directed towards a female audience, know that it is one that even the guys will enjoy. The husbands of both characters are “typical” men. They read their newspapers while their wives cook. They devour the delicacies as if they were junk food. They are even both a couple of horn dogs. They play “manly men” that all male audience members will connect with and laugh at through the entire movie.
If you’re too adult to see G.I. Joe and don’t like suspenseful thrillers like A Perfect Getaway, then Julie & Julia is a perfect choice for you this weekend.