No need to read Roeper, folks. I’ve got your unofficial, totally subjective movie review right here. The last one I did was over a year ago. That’s about how often I get to the theater: once every 365 days+ or so.
Speaking of 365 days, I took in Julie & Julia during an afternoon matinee. This is the movie about Julie Powell, the young woman who, over the course of a year, cooked through Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, blogging about it along the way – all the while looking to Mrs. Child as a sort of demi-god in her mind.
With a free pass and Daddy home with the kids, it cost me nothing but a couple of well-spent hours.
I’m gonna include a side note here about seeing an afternoon movie: almost everyone in attendance, other than myself and a few others, was pushing 60. I didn’t have to deal with a) talkers rattling during the movie or b) glow lights of Blackberries, or c) people attempting to inconspicuously yak on their cell phones. Stepping out of a dark auditorium after dramatic cinema into glaring sunlight may not be as sexy as sauntering out under the stars with your soul mate, but when the experience inside is so relaxing, it’s totally worth it.
The screenplay was fabulous, the direction was terrific, and the actors were grand – including those who played minor characters. Amy Adams did a fantastic job portraying a regular gal in need of a project in her life. No souped up, tanned up, make-believe chick, just a normal girl who did a lot of work (much more in the cooking than the writing, I think) during her year-long culinary journey. She was smart enough and persistent enough to write about it in a blog (back when these things were just heatin’ up), and found an audience on the World Wide Web.
Meryl Streep’s Julia Child is superb. I’m old enough to have seen the large-as-life cooking guru on the televison (albeit as a young girl), long before the days of Rachael Ray, and back when Ms. Martha Stewart was posing for the covers of magazines. Streep’s acting is always magnificient, and this role was no exception.
Additional characters were played by: Jane Lynch (Julia’s sister), Linda Edmond (co-author), and Chris Messina (Julie’s husband).
There were plenty of skillet-sizzling, oven-baking, sauce-simmering delights during the film. More than one character experiences indigestion (I did, but that was because of the large Coke and refillable popcorn), but most of the food creation scenes were scrumptious. There was lots of humor, a few tears, and plenty of very well-done poignant scenes representative of real-life relationships.
I loved the fact that cooking was shown in a positive light, the use of butter extolled, and people in this film ate, well the way people eat when something tastes really, really good.
I highly recommend you see the film on a mostly empty stomach, then cook – and eat – a fabulous dinner afterwards.
Whether you write about it is entirely up to you.