Friday, January 14, 2011

Julie & Julia, a belated, very brief review

Just finished watching the movie "Julie & Julia", which, it seems, many people--particularly on Twitter--caught up with on Encore this week.  I'll be brief because 1) I don't like writing movie reviews and 2) I'm actually only reviewing half the movie.  Going into this please note that I am not a fan of Julia Child herself.  However, this does not mean that I am blind or disrespectful of her enormous impact on the culinary world.  It just means that, in the flesh, hers is not a personality I enjoy watching on tv.

That being said, like many people, I found the "Julie" part of the movie cringe-worthy, unwatchable, unbearable, you name it.  So I cheated and fast-forwarded it once I got through the initial introductory scenes. The scenes where Julie dons pearls, and Julie makes pie, and Julie this and Julie that.  It was never really about the food, it was all about Julie!  Like Jan Brady screeching "It's always Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" it was always "Look! I'm Julie, Julie, Julie!"  Which made me want to throw a puppy down a well.  Save the puppies!  

However, the "Julia" part was wonderful.  Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, and Jane Lynch were just amazing to watch and I found myself wishing over and over again that the whole movie had been about them.  Watching Streep was a dream and she and Tucci worked so well together that I would love to see them in some sort of comedic whodunit, each trying to one-up the other, tripping over corpses, falling in love.  But maybe that's just how my mind works.  Either way, their love story (both with each other and with the French) was beautiful and sweet and utterly charming, three things you will almost never hear me say about anything.  Throw Jane Lynch into the mix as Child's sister and you have a win-win-win situation.  The scene where Dorothy (Lynch) first arrives in France and is taken to lunch by the Childs is genius: She is eating brie with gusto--with her fingers!--chatting up a storm, bringing the scene to a most incredible life. I didn't want it to end.  From what I gleaned, it was always about life and food and love; Child never made it about herself.  She had a true desire to learn for herself, not so people would look at her and fawn over her, but so that she could teach people what she had learned and enjoyed.  Which is pretty much what I have always thought and heard about her.

So yes, I thoroughly enjoyed half of this movie.  And I could easily watch that half again.

Like I said, a very brief review.

10 comments:

Bridget said...
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Bridget said...

100% agreement.

Kee Kee said...

I 100% agree and could not have put it better than you just did!

Chow and Chatter said...

i agree I just watching a movie about Julia the other was annoying

Mitzi H. said...

Julia - Yay / Julie - Nay. 'Nuff said.

Quilting Mama said...

Thank you, Thank you, and THANK YOU!!! The self focused side of Julie drove me nuts. I was ready to smack her with that damn duck - before she boned it!
Now Julia was amazing. You can truly see the research and effort they all put into portraying people the world is so familiar with. I too self-edit this movie to get the best scenes, or like commercials, the Julie scenes give you a chance to make more popcorn or make a pit stop.

Gretchen said...

The Jan Brady comment has given me my laugh for the day - I vividly remember that line. Great review!

Tangled Noodle said...

Hear, hear! I wish they'd simply made the movie all about Julia/Meryl. My favorite scene (so sad but so sweet) was when Julia receives the letter announcing her sister's pregnancy and she breaks down. She's happy for her sibling but devastated for herself. I feel like crying with her...

Jenni said...

I completely agree with you. Julie=dead puppies (or at least wet-puppies-down-a-well).

The Meryl Streep/Stanley Tucci parts were magical and made me so happy that I cried.

What a truly lopsided movie. Next time, it should just be Julia. :)

Foodie Fictionista said...

I despised Amy Adams after that movie. Then I watched "The Fighter" and she's back in my good graces again. I'm sure she's thrilled!