Cover of "Julie & Julia"
Cover of Julie & Julia

A couple of nights ago I finally got around to watching “Julie & Julia.”  I had wanted to see this movie since it came out in theaters, but my life does not lend itself to actually going to the movies very often.  I didn’t get to the theater before it was gone, and even after its release on DVD there was always something else to see–kids movies, movies that both my husband and I wanted to see–so I didn’t get to see it until I DVR’d it from one of the movie channels.  Even then, we’ve had it for a month or two and I didn’t get around to watching it until one night this week when my husband was working late.

I love this movie.  I know that I should maybe hedge if this is a review and describe the movie first and talk about the character portrayals and blah, blah, blah.  And I will get to that, don’t worry.  But I want to say first that I love this movie because, for one, this will not necessarily be an unbiased description, and two, if you absolutely hated this movie feel free to just stop reading here and move on (or wait for) the next post.  Read some of my older posts, visit another blog, whatever.  I recommend Wil Wheaton‘s blog at http://wilwheaton.typepad.com/wwdnbackup/ because he’s funny and everyone should know him as more than just “that guy that played Wesley Crusher.”

Julie & Julia, for those of you who haven’t already seen it, is actually two stories in one.  It follows the life of Julia Child from when she and her husband first moved to Paris up until her first cookbook gets published.  At the same time, it is about a woman named Julie who hates her job and her snippy, bitchy friends who do more “important” work, and has just moved to New Jersey with her husband.  She decides, with the advice of her husband and his help, to start a blog.  She loves to cook, and is a great admirer of Julia Child, so she plans to blog about her journey through Julia’s cookbook over the course of a year.  That is, she’ll cook every recipe in the book in 365 days, and blog about it.

Meryl Streep plays Julia Child so brilliantly that after that first moment of “look how much they made her look like Julia Child!” I completely forgot that it wasn’t Julia through the rest of the movie.  Streep had her voice and mannerisms down and just did an amazing job.

Amy Adams, who I’ve always liked, played Julie and she too completely became her character.  I’ve never seen the real Julie interviewed or on TV at all, so I can’t say that Adams portrayal of her was just like the real person.  What I can say is that at no point in the movie was she “Amy Adams” to me, just Julie.

Good writing can also be credited for part of those performances.  There was no point in the movie which brought me out of it by a line or a reaction that just didn’t seem right.  Sometimes, even in the best movies, there is that one line of dialogue, something small but important that just is off and makes you think that the character wouldn’t really have said that.  It is something that just pulls you out for one second and makes you aware of the fact that this is just a movie you’re watching.  With Julie & Julia, I spent the entire movie in that wonderful place where you feel that you’re watching a part of someone’s life unfold in front of you and you just become absorbed in it.

Beyond just being good entertainment, this movie was very inspiring.  When I finished watching it, I wanted to learn to cook better, I wanted to blog more often, I wanted to do SOMETHING that would continue to give me a creative outlet.  What I liked the most, though, is that the Julie at the start of the movie was me.  I worked in a job I hated (I have since been “let go”).  I have a book that hasn’t been published (or edited, at this point, but I’m working on that part).  I have a need for something more in my life, something that is mine.  That’s what this blog is for me.  It’s mine, to do with whatever I choose.

And the fact that Julie’s blog let to bigger and greater things for her?  That’s pretty inspiring too.  We can’t all be Perez Hilton, but what we do can lead us somewhere.  Eventually, there’s a chance that we, as bloggers, aren’t just talking to ourselves.