I thought of my grandma for basically the entire duration of this film. As far as I know, she was the Julie Powell of her generation, and I would not be surprised if she cooked her way through “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” without telling anyone but my grandpa. Making this movie meant a lot to Julia’s generation, because for the most part, the under-30 crowd has absolutely no idea who Julia Child is, save for the Aykroyd impression, which is marvelous.
Anyway, the movie. It’s not about food. It’s not even really about Julia Child. It’s about doing something for yourself, and it’s a totally selfish movie, but that’s kind of the point. Our society tends to repress selfish projects, because often times, they do cause strain on a marriage (as was the case in this film) and that’s a no-no! But the truth is, we can still pursue things for no reason other than we want to because we should. Husbands and wives DON’T have to support each other blindly — I’m not even close to being married but I always thought that logic was weird. I’d rather my future husband tell me he wasn’t thrilled with my looney idea, but that he’d respect it anyway. Respect is different from support. And I think that’s what happened in the film. Eric Powell (hottie Chris Messina) went from total support, to total hatred, to total respect, with regards to Powell’s ambitious desire to cook her way through the tome on one year. In order to support something, I think you have to understand it, and this project was for some deep self-fulfillment for Julie, so he could never really understand it. And that’s why he eventually came to respect it instead. Stepping off the soap-box now.
Meryl Streep was hi-fucking-larious. I mean, maybe that means I’m laughing at Julia Child, but the woman was aware of her hilarity, I think. And Streep LOOKED like her. How does this woman do it? How does she transform herself into all these people? It’s agonizing! But the story of Julia is an interesting and beautiful one, because I get the sense that her demeanor really was like that. She really was that genuine to and appreciative of and fascinated by food, and it was a joy to watch her in her element. Meryl Streep captured those repeated states of elation, and that’s what matters.
Amy Adams was a doll, too. Mostly, I just love it because she didn’t look particularly hot in this movie, and her hair kind of looks like mine, except more mulletish, and that’s comforting. And Stanley Tucci — I love him. I want to be besties with him.
My only qualm is that the film never resolved Julia’s supposed hatred for Julie. I’d like to think that the source was lying to Powell, because we all believe in our hearts that a cookbook author could never hold remorse for someone trying her recipes, but I don’t know. I think my grandma would, though, so I’ll ask her.