Julie & Julia
So confessions first of all… I think both Meryl Streep and Amy Adams are amazing. Both have consistently turned in fine performances in the majority of their body of work and I’d watch basically anything with either of them in it. Admittedly Streep has a slightly larger body of work, but Adams has yet to disappoint.
The film is essentially two stories in two different times, told simultaneously. The first is of Julia Childs, the Martha Stewart before Martha Stewart. Julia Childs is credited as the woman who brought French cuisine to the masses – simplifying it, cataloging it and selling it as a guide for “servantless American women”.
A largre than life Meryl Streep is in her element flamboyantly taking charge in the kitchen after learning to cook while bored in Paris and looking to occupy time and satisfy her love of food and eating. Her relationship with husband Paul (Stanley Tucci also perfect for his part) was adorable. Clearly they are perfect for one another and a couple of their tender moments certainly touch deep.
The second story is that of Julie Powell, a bored call centre operator and failed novelist. Sick of taking abuse during the day and tired of the unremarkable, Julie is challenged by her husband to start writing again and uses Julia Child’s legendary cook book for the source material; she must cook all 524 recipes in a year and blog about her experiences.
Julie has some ups and downs over the course of 365 days and while the relationship with her husband Eric (Chris Messina) seems sweet, it never really has the spark and chemistry and Streep and Tucci achieve.
The film is fun with larger than life characters (a brilliant appearance from Jane Lynch is, as I believe the vernacular would have it, a hoot) and showcases some pretty scenery from Paris. It offers no surprises, but is well paced and has a lot of heart.
Unfortunately for an otherwise lovely story, Julia Childs doesn’t really approve of Julie Powell’s blogging efforts, a point the film tries to brush over, but fails to adequately address.
Nevertheless I smiled most of the way through and left feeling hungrier than I have in a long time! A perfectly charming watch.
Reviewed by: Guest Reviewer
Starring: Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Jane Lynch, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Mary Lynn Rajskub
Directed by: Nora Ephron
Genre: Drama, Biography, Adaptation