8.10.2009

Julie and Julia

Before I went to see the film I looked through the reviews to see if anyone had said anything bad about this particular movie. You see, I had such high hopes for the movie that I was sure that I wouldn't love it as much as I wanted to. The reviews, though, seemed to be pretty good across the board. Therefore, in hopes of helping you to enjoy this movie I thought I would start out with the bad before moving on to the good:

1. It seemed long. It was long (over 2 hours) but it also seemed long.

2. I wasn't entirely satisfied with the ending. I'll tell you why at the end of this post but beware that in telling you why I will give away parts of the movie that you may not want given away before you see it.

3. There is a slight lack of character development. You are left to assume lots of things (especially about Julie's friends and her relationship with her husband) rather than see them work out or see them work up to the culmination that is eventually played out in the movie--that is to say you see the culmination and are left to assume the build up of emotions.

Now the good:

It is a thoroughly charming and entertaining movie. Amy Adams and Meryl Streep are both very, very good (I imagine that being on set and watching Streep work was pure joy). At times it is laugh-out-loud funny--the lobster scene that you have previewed if you have seen a trailer is even better in the movie. And then at other times it is deeply moving. Now that I have seen the movie, I feel that I must go out pick up Julia Child's cookbook and at least attempt a few of her recipes. I also now feel that I must somehow figure out how to visit Paris in the 1950s.

****Warning: do not see this movie when you are hungry.


SPOILER ALERT


Reasons I think I was left unsatisfied by the ending:

1. It is a Nora Ephron film. Just in case you weren't aware it is a Nora Ephron film they put it right up on the screen in big bold letters right before the film begins. That means that as this film begins you have thoughts of When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You've Got Mail running through your head--movies that all end with a kiss and a swelling of music. This is not one of those films. There is no swelling of music or satisfying kiss to close this one out. That is not to say that there should have been just that perhaps I was subconsciously thinking there would be and then felt at a loss when a Nora Ephron film didn't deliver it.

2. There is no conclusion about why Julia didn't like Julie. Had she read the blog? What exactly did she not like about Julie learning about French cooking and life through her own book. From everything else that is shown in the movie, it seems ridiculous that Julia should not embrace Julie. If Julia truly didn't like what Julie was doing it seems to me that there must have been a serious whitewashing of one of the characters (or both) which disappoints me just a little even though I know it is a movie and therefore is whitewashed.

4 comments:

Janssen said...

Having read the book a few years ago, I think Amy Adams and the movie portrays Julie Powell in a much more flattering light. In the book, she's kind of foul-mouthed and rather self-centered.

She's now writing a book, in fact, about how she had an affair after writing her first book (Julie and Julia), which makes me kind of ill.

All that said, I still can't wait to see the movie.

Here's a very short article about why Julia didn't approve: http://www.eatmedaily.com/2009/07/julia-child-considered-the-juliejulia-project-a-stunt/

Jen said...

Very good review. I am excited to see the movie and now know not to have as high of hopes as I had previously had. That's usually a good thing.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

I caught an interview with Meryl Streep on PBS the other day. She was sitting down with Charlie Rose and Nora Ephron. It look fascinating; I only caught a few minutes. (Insert kiddie screams here.) Meryl Streep shed some light on Julia's acutal person from a brief encounter back in the early 80's. It illustrated to me what a no-nonsense sort of person she was and maybe not more private that she seemed to be on TV.

I still want to talk to you about "He's Just Not That Into You." I've got most a great email composed in my head. And, like usual, NO TIME TO WRITE.

Yankee Girl said...

Please read the article listed above by Janssen if you would like some nice closure on one of my complaints about the movie.