she said she said: a movie review of Julie & Julia

20 Aug

The best part of Jen having summer hours and Anne having a mother-in-law who is a school teacher (meaning – she can baby-sit in the summer) is that we were both able to go to the movies on a Friday afternoon. It seemed only right that we see one that has to do with food. Here is our discussion about Julie & Julia.

Jen:

Okay, so first of all, I really enjoyed the movie. I thought it was fun, entertaining and it made me hungry. I loved all the food talk. I didn’t think it was the best movie ever by any means and it had a few issues (some I know you will get to), but overall, I thought it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon.  And, my 2 new favorite words are: Boeuf Bourguignon.

Anne:

Please tell me you had to google that to know how to spell it?!!

I enjoyed the movie too. Agreed- it’s not the best movie ever made, but it was entertaining, and I liked it more than I thought I would. I went in knowing nothing about Julia Child, so I did come away learning a thing or two about the famous lady that she was. I laughed aloud a few times, and even came close to tearing up once or twice.

Jen:

Yes, I googled it. I know very little french except how to ask a french person if they speak English.

So, Anne I know you had a few problems with the casting….care to elaborate? Personally, I thought Meryl Streep was delightful. Seriously, the woman can do no wrong on the screen.
Anne:

I think Meryl Streep did an excellent job portraying Julia. Meryl is not my favorite actress of all time, but this role was definitely well-casted. I had a hard time listening to that VOICE at first, but I guess I got used to it. The problem I had with the casting had to do with a few of the other characters- namely Paul (Julia’s husband), and Julia’s sister Dorothy. I felt like the guy that played Paul (Stanley Tucci) seemed way to young to be playing the part of Julia’s husband, especially when in reality Julia’s husband was 10 YEARS older than her. (I think that’s accurate, but maybe I’m wrong). So anyway, I felt like in the movie Julie was like 60ish and her husband was like 50ish. They didn’t make a believable couple for me, and I almost gagged watching them make out and roll around in bed. There was one scene where Julia was talking to her gray-haired, 70-ish something looking father, and that guy, to me, looked like he was the perfect age to have played Julia’s HUSBAND, not father. And then there was Julia’s sister, Dorothy. The actress playing Dorothy looked to me like she was in her upper 40s/lower 50s, and then all of a sudden Julia gets word that the sister is PREGNANT. ???? That just seemed wrong to me.

Jen:

I thought they all seemed around the same age – about 40ish. I did not gag during the make out scene, but had it progressed, I might have. I thought they were very convincable as a couple and loved how supportive they were of each other – especially Paul towards Julia. I don’t think that was the norm “back in the day”.

I’m hopeful that this movie generates even more interest for people to get in the kitchen and cook some real food. One of my favorite lines in the movie comes when Julia and her writing partner are reading an american cookbook and a recipe calls for Marshmallow fluff. “What IS marshmallow fluff?”  Great question.

I’m not suggesting everyone run out and learn how to bone a duck or make an aspic, but how about a roast chicken with vegetables? Yum.

Anne:

I highly doubt this movie is going to inspire anyone to cook. It may inspire folks to eat more butter though. Fave overheard line while exiting the theater: Did you see how much butter Julia ate? And she lived to 93?? That just goes to show you can eat WHATEVER you want and live a long time. I’m not going to care about what I eat anymore. I’ll eat as much butter as I want to!! [Jen feel free to tweak this for accuracy, I’m probably not getting it right.]

You mentioned that you read a review where the reviewer said she could have done without the whole ‘Julie blogger’ part of the storyline. I quite enjoyed that part of the story, and was impressed that Julie was able to accomplish her year-long goal. I was left curiously wondering, however, how DID she acquire such a blog following?
I just found her blog- here it is: http://juliepowell.blogspot.com/

Jen:

Quote looks great – that was the gist anyway. Hilarious! I’m sure she wasn’t the only one thinking that.

I had read a couple of those types of review. I was surprised I liked that part of the movie as much as I did. With that said, I think an entire movie just about Julia would have been awesome.  I think since Julie started blogging in 2002 when it was just becoming something, it may have been easier to gain a following. I think the fact that she had a specific goal she was trying to accomplish also helped. People could actually root for her and follow her progress. Nowadays everyone and their brother has a blog so I think it’s harder to attract readers.

Case in point.

Anne:

What’s your take on Julia being completely uninterested in Julie’s blogging/cooking venture? Do you think Julia Child was appalled that such a thing as the World Wide Web existed, and that this person Julie was airing all of her personal dirty laundry- (e.g. fights with husband, work problems) via Julia’s recipes- for the world at large to read about?

Jen:

I’m guessing by that point in Julia’s life (she would have been in her late 80’s) she probably just didn’t care to much about a blog – or know what it was for that matter. Maybe using the web as a medium was a crazy thought to her. Who knows? Hopefully it at least made her feel good that her book was still inspiring people to cook – and find joy in it.

I think I’m going to have to plan a date to make Julia’s Boeuf Bourguignon so we can blog about it.

Has anyone out there seen the movie? Your thoughts? Don’t be afraid to comment. Really, we don’t bite. You just might get invited over for Boeuf Bourguignon.

One Response to “she said she said: a movie review of Julie & Julia”

  1. Rich Westerberg August 24, 2009 at 3:01 pm #

    My wife and I loved the movie and all the food. The movie did make me want to make a duck and other recipes…..and use more butter! Let me know when you are making the Boeuf Bourguignon. Maybe we can all make it separately and share our war stories. Great blog ladies! Keep it up!

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