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Just got back from seeing Julie & Julia

Jack_ Aug 14, 2009 01:33 PM

a sappy Nora Ephron movie. Food,, cooking, and love stories; what could be bad? Went with my wife and mother-in-law. At the end mom turns to us and says "I don't know why my cooking never turns out as good as hers. I have the same pot."

  1. Withnail42 Dec 20, 2009 07:50 AM

    I meant to add that I thought Stanley Tucci gave an excellent performance.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Withnail42
      buttertart Dec 21, 2009 05:48 AM

      Yes, always thought Paul Child must have been a very interesting man indeed - and Tucci captured the man as portrayed in Julia's My Life in France.

      1. re: buttertart
        Withnail42 Dec 22, 2009 05:02 PM

        I have to agree. His covert work during the war to his cultural work in the sate department in certainly makes for an interesting career. A very accomplished man steeping into the shadows and working diligently at building the career of his wife. Not something that was common place fifty years ago

        1. re: Withnail42
          buttertart Dec 23, 2009 05:32 AM

          Or all that common today for that matter!

    2. buttertart Dec 18, 2009 03:21 PM

      Finally saw this (waited for the DVD) and really enjoyed it, even more than I expected to. Streep is of course amazing in her embodiment of Julia Child and Amy Adams makes her character considerably more appealing than Julie Powell comes across as being in the book. Stanley Tucci almost managed to steal the show from Streep. Fun and would be a nice stocking stuffer for the Julia-minded.

      25 Replies
      1. re: buttertart
        DallasDude Dec 19, 2009 10:20 AM

        Amy Adams makes Powell look human, where as the real Powell is bit of a troll.

        1. re: DallasDude
          ChefJune Dec 19, 2009 12:27 PM

          I met and spoke with the real Julie Powell the night I saw the show, and she seemed not at all troll-like. (Have YOU met her?) I thought the Amy Adams interpretation was sappy.

          1. re: ChefJune
            Normandie Dec 19, 2009 03:23 PM

            I finally rented the movie last week, and I agree with you re Amy Adams' portrayal. Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci together were fun to watch in those roles, but I found the Julie storyline to be...underwhelming, uncompelling.

            I feel like there *is* a story there, in what Julie Powell did--the parallel lines of two (or maybe three, by now) generations of American women cooking their way through JC--what those generations have in common, yet what things have changed for the youngest generation that has now discovered MTAFC. But this screenplay and Ms. Adams' interpretation missed that opportunity. It was disappointing. JMO.

            1. re: Normandie
              Steve Dec 22, 2009 03:45 PM

              I thought Nora Ephron did a phenomenal job at writing and directing this movie. It was about making a very human connection across time and distance. It was told like a dialogue. Most people read books, listen to music, and see plays written by distant artists in a passive way. This was a story about a very average person and their ability to reach out. If this was just a Julia Childs movie, it would have been yet another historic yet alienating look at the past. This was a great movie.

              1. re: Steve
                buttertart Dec 23, 2009 05:33 AM

                I was impressed by that as well, the sections did respond to each another and were very well integrated into a whole.

                1. re: Steve
                  soupkitten Dec 23, 2009 03:04 PM

                  or, you could read it as a money-driven tactical decision to fabricate a rather tenuous connection between two very different women who had very different lives, in order to broaden the audience base for the movie between folks who otherwise mightn't be too interested in each others' stories (thereby cashing in on a cross-generational chick flick, with bonus audience of foodie males). unfortunately all of the characters were made a little shallow, glossy and saccharine in the process of jumping back and forth thru time and space while the director sought to draw comparisons and parallels that didn't actually exist. yeah, streep and tucci were fantastic, though.

                  1. re: soupkitten
                    Steve Dec 23, 2009 04:12 PM

                    Why tenuous? The Julie character goes through some very real emotional ups and downs based upon her reaching out. She feels a very solid connection through her efforts, though it has surprising effects on her. Why was Julie 'made shallow?' She is what she is, a modern, average person just trying something. And certainly not saccharine, that's absolutely the wrong word. Same with glossy. She develops a needy, self-centered side. I found it to be very real and emotionally fulfilling. I think the connection she made was palpable. You don't have to like it or agree, but saccharine and glossy are incorrect.

                    I don't think it's a movie about comparisons or parallels at all, but a kind of active communication and connection. Anyway, I felt the connection.

                    1. re: Steve
                      soupkitten Dec 23, 2009 05:50 PM

                      "The Julie character" you refer to was very much *scripted* as a vulnerable and whining adolescent-- as opposed to a less-cuddly, more self-centered, calculating, attention-seeking, gold-digging type of older person (like the real julie powell), don't you think?

                      as you note, scripting "The Julie character" to come across as "a modern, average person" that so many folks seem to want to relate to emotionally was a successful move on the director's and marketing department's part. but to me, that's precisely why major plot pieces in the movie failed to make emotional sense, even though they are based on events that actually happened. for examples, 1) the real julia child **hating** the blog, 2) the fight/walkout/breakup between julie and her husband-- in the movie these just didn't jibe sensibly, and would seem like great overreactions on the part of otherwise gracious, calm, and intelligent people. at some point in the movie it was apparent how far the director was trying to stretch a version of reality to match up and end with a happy (parallel) love story scene, even at the cost of villifying the real julia child in favor of the invented julie powell. the julie thread just became tiresome and ceased to make sense while at the same time the julia thread became more interesting, even as it reduced her to some sort of fabricated pre-martha stewart model of domesticity. going through the switchbacks became painful and irritating.

                      i'm sorry, but i'm just going to have to disagree with you. imho the director absolutely glossed over parts of the real people's lives (particularly paul child's), and if the julie character could have been more perky and saccharine if played by taylor hicks, i'd eat my hat.

                      kudos to the actors who performed well (and let's hear it for costumes and sets on the julia thread! gorgeous!). but the story could have been a lot more interesting if the director/writer wasn't trying to cash in on every (american, female) person who's ever written or followed a blog. the director's choices made it much more of an invented story than a true one, for me. for the next bit of reality-based romanti-fantasy maybe ephron should do "pioneer woman."

                      1. re: soupkitten
                        Steve Dec 23, 2009 06:11 PM

                        No, i don't think. She didn't seem cuddly. But she seemed more human than the monster you make her out to be. The movie wasn't written by a marketing department. it was written and directed by Nora Ephron.

                        As a movie, I am not asking for it to closely follow the actual events of real life. It's not a biopic. Nora Ephron used the story for her own ends. The 'fight' wasn't a big one, but it was enough exasperation for her boyfriend to walk out of the apartment. I had no idea the movie 'villified' Julia Child. Not in my mind. The Julie character certainly didn't seem perky to me. She nervously questioned what she was doing with her life, felt insecure around her ill-mannered friends, in no way is that perky and cuddly.

                        Yeah, I guess we saw different movies.

                        1. re: Steve
                          DallasDude Dec 23, 2009 06:58 PM

                          I saw the same film soupkitten saw. Thought I was the only one on Chow with these thoughts, and felt like some sort of villan for doing so.

                        2. re: soupkitten
                          buttertart Dec 24, 2009 04:52 AM

                          Gracious and calm? How about lying on the floor crying in the kitchen when something didn't turn out right? (and kudos to Amy Adams for allowing herself to be shot in such an unflattering pose).

                          1. re: buttertart
                            soupkitten Dec 24, 2009 09:03 AM

                            i think we agree. the julie character was scripted as a petulant adolescent-type of personality, as i stated above.

                            the gracious and calm characters would have been julia child and julie's husband. their actions don't make sense when directed toward the julie character as scripted. they make a heck of a lot more sense if you remove "the julie character" and insert the real-life julie powell. ephron made the choice to script this character as childlike, pouty, innocent--and a character the audience would be sympathetic toward. that's why it was shocking to audiences that the real julia child despised julie's blog-- how could julia child be such a bitch? answer: julia child was going off the work of the real julie powell, not the character played by amy adams in the movie.

                            i'm not saying it would be a better movie if it was a documentary style piece. the tone of the movie would have certainly changed and it probably wouldn't have made as much money if it were so, which is exactly why i think ephron changed the character of her protagonist so completely. obviously, the changes she made didn't stop a lot of folks from enjoying the movie, and i enjoyed a lot about the movie too. as i've said, i could've done without most of the julie episodes, especially toward the end of the film, when they ceased to make much sense. it was a well-done movie that appealed to a lot of people, but the changes the writer/director made re the julie character led to scenes that failed to ring true for me. that's all.

                            1. re: soupkitten
                              buttertart Dec 26, 2009 07:13 AM

                              Agree, and really disliked the persona described in the J&J book. Since this was based on both works and not a direct translation to the screen of each, I think the two stories as portrayed in the film were nicely integrated and worked well together. PS my reaction to the report of Julia's snubbing the blog was HURRAY, it was just what I would have expected.

                            2. re: buttertart
                              Ideefixed Dec 29, 2009 05:23 PM

                              It's not like Adams had a choice.

                              1. re: Ideefixed
                                buttertart Dec 30, 2009 05:04 AM

                                What happened to stars being able to dictate how they are shot? Am I hopelessly misinformed about how movies are made? She could have been shown lying on the floor from a less unflattering angle, but the shot would also not have been as effective.

                                1. re: buttertart
                                  Steve Dec 30, 2009 09:24 AM

                                  I agree, actors are not puppets. Except for Vin Diesel.

                                  I know this is hard to believe, but they actually contribute to how they perform their role... strange, isn't it?

                      2. re: Steve
                        Normandie Dec 27, 2009 10:58 PM

                        Steve, I'm not sure what you mean when you said, "...yet alienating look at the past." Now, that may be because I'm a historian by education, and I never find the past "alienating"...I find it fascinating. But that is my personal bias. ;-)

                        I agree with you that the device Nora Ephron used comprised parallel story lines and hence that connection you spoke of across time, and I can see the value in that. It certainly is a means to show the relevance of what Julia Child did to us today, and, also, it demonstrates the universality of the human quest "to find oneself".

                        But for whatever reason, the Julie Powell half of the movie just didn't take hold for me the way the JC half did. I don't know exactly why. For some reason, I didn't find the JP storyline to be persuasive. I was never convinced that cooking her way through MTAFC really fundamentally changed things for JP. (This after watching the movie four times.) I didn't feel a substantive transformation in the character. I was *told*, via the screenplay and via the character's lines, that one was made, but I didn't *feel* it, and I think with great literature and great movies, we *feel* it. I don't think it's about Amy Adams or how she portrayed the character. I've seen her in other roles of vulnerable characters (e.g., have you seen *Doubt*?), and she held my interest, most definitely. I will tell you I'm not generally crazy about Nora Ephron's scripts. They seem always to start out well for me, but then lose my interest at some point. Just a personal matter of taste, maybe, and that really has nothing to do with whether a movie is great or not.

                        I'm glad you found it so satisfying, though, and I will say again, I found the JC storyline to be....well, *almost* satisfying. ;-) I thought it was really well done, and I only wish there could be more of it. Just my opinions.

                        1. re: Normandie
                          Steve Dec 28, 2009 07:20 AM

                          What I meant by 'alienating' is that the Hollywood biopic (or other endeavors like those one-person stage shows) often fail to resonate with our modern lives. No slight of historians intended.

                          Thank you for understanding what I was trying to get at. Ultimately, if the emotional does not work for you, then I can understand why you don't care for the film. That is a very personal response and is what makes the world go round.

                          But here's the thing:
                          The transformation I felt was not so much in the Julie character. It was in myself. The scenes flip flopped back and forth so much, I felt as if Julia was in the kitchen looking over Julie's shoulder. Like one of those illusion cards on a stick with one image (let's say an 'eye') on one side and a 'heart' on the other side. Flip them back and forth quickly enough, and you will see the eye inside the heart.

                          1. re: Steve
                            LindaWhit Dec 28, 2009 12:12 PM

                            "But here's the thing:
                            The transformation I felt was not so much in the Julie character. It was in myself. The scenes flip flopped back and forth so much, I felt as if Julia was in the kitchen looking over Julie's shoulder."
                            Ahhh, but perhaps that's exactly what Ephron was aiming for - Julie wanted to "do right" by Julia as best as she could, and she herself felt that Julia *was* looking over her shoulder to make sure things were going smoothly (or not! LOL). So perhaps you having that feeling of Julia looking over Julie's shoulder was intentional?

                            1. re: LindaWhit
                              Steve Dec 28, 2009 05:29 PM

                              Yes, I believe that flipping back and forth between the stories produced an intentional result.

                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                Withnail42 Dec 29, 2009 04:15 AM

                                I never got that feeling from the film. For me the two stories play out separately. The Julie story line was an unnecessary slow moving distraction from the Julia Child story.

                                1. re: Withnail42
                                  Steve Dec 29, 2009 05:02 AM

                                  Yes, the stories are never intertwined. Like I said, it is an illusion. But like a stage magician with tricks up his sleeve, it can be appreciated by all.

                                  My favorite part is "don't crowd the mushrooms." It is such a simple, small detail, yet it makes a surprisingly big difference. When I see Julie's reaction to this, I can't help but reflect on the scene I just saw of Julia Child struggling to make her own mark in Paris. From her lips to her ears.

                                  1. re: Steve
                                    Withnail42 Dec 29, 2009 04:59 PM

                                    I can appreciate your fondness for the film but the magician in question was not on duty the day I saw the film.

                      3. re: ChefJune
                        DallasDude Dec 19, 2009 06:45 PM

                        Matter of fact she gave a lecture at the Dallas Museum of Art and I did indeed meet the very troll-like woman. But I suppose that is subjective. Not that the writer needs to be a beauty queen, I just think they guilded the lily as Hollywood often does. Shes very plump and angry looking, IMHO. She will make a fine butcher, all she needs is a cigar. But I have seen her butcher videos, and as long as there are cut lines, I suppose she will do fine at that. The chicken she deboned was totally unrecognizable.

                        1. re: DallasDude
                          Withnail42 Dec 20, 2009 06:06 AM

                          I met her at a discussion a couple of years ago she was not overly troll-like just not overly enigmatic, interesting, or engaging. She certainly did not seem to have any culinary insight her depth of knowledge was really limited to herself.

                  2. buttertart Sep 3, 2009 11:36 AM

                    Just wanted to say, every time I read the remark about the pot, I crack up laughing. What a mom kind of thing to say!

                    1. Withnail42 Aug 25, 2009 03:31 PM

                      Just saw the film and enjoyed it. I also read the book and found it to be a little long and self serving.

                      However I would have enjoyed a film about Julia Child on her own. She certainly had an interesting life that would make a great movie.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Withnail42
                        HabaneroJane Aug 26, 2009 01:14 PM

                        I just saw it and loved it. The book was a bit dull and absolutely self serving but the movie brought it to life and frankly, yes, I would have loved to see more about Julia Child than the child that was/is Julie. God bless Julie Powell for making Julia Child so interesting to those who never would have thought so!

                        1. re: HabaneroJane
                          Withnail42 Aug 26, 2009 04:06 PM

                          It was really more the filmmakers rather than Powell who brought Julia Child's story to life. Her book really dose not go into detail about Child's life. Her story in the movie was really excess baggage.

                          They also used the truly wonderful "My life in France" written by her nephew Alex Prud-Homme to tell her story. That book should have been the basis for the move.

                          1. re: Withnail42
                            Caitlin McGrath Aug 26, 2009 04:40 PM

                            My Life in France was a collaboration between Julia and Alex Prud'Homme; as she was of advanced age when they began, he helped her. It's absolutely a first-person memoir, told in her voice.

                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                              ChefJune Aug 31, 2009 07:17 AM

                              Alex finished the book after Julia died.

                      2. s
                        Sharuf Aug 21, 2009 08:46 AM

                        Just saw the movie, and partway in I got a disconnect.

                        Julie is a 30-year-old woman coming across as a very young post-adolescent rather than a grownup. When you are thirty, you are supposed to be beyond seeking affirmation from random parental figures (you are supposed to BE a parental figure), and you should be beyond falling to pieces when you don't get resounding emotional support.

                        Another quibble - I thought Meryl overdid Julia's distinctive vocal pecularities. It would have been less distracting if she had underplayed this rather than exaggerating it.

                        Other than that, I loved the movie, especially the Julia segments.

                        26 Replies
                        1. re: Sharuf
                          Robert Lauriston Aug 21, 2009 08:59 AM

                          The real Julie Powell's biggest item on her "that's not me" list was that falling to pieces:


                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            DishDelish Aug 21, 2009 02:54 PM

                            Great article! Thank you for sharing with us.

                          2. re: Sharuf
                            Claudette Aug 21, 2009 01:20 PM

                            I have a 46-yr-old sister-in-law that falls to pieces when she doesn't the the support she wants, and who calls her mother every time she wants or needs something (like babysitting, or a new couch, etc.). In fact, my father-in-law is like that, too, so I'm not sure age is a measure for expected maturity levels, even though it should be.

                            1. re: Sharuf
                              DishDelish Aug 21, 2009 02:40 PM

                              So the average 30 year old today usually does not care what people think? Interesting. And they are supposed to be parental figures?? I am learning so much. I always thought that I was in the minority as a young parent (I have 3 children), and all of my non-parent friends who are waiting to have children were the normal ones. I also keep hearing that 50 is the new 30 which I don't really agree with (maybe it is the new 40) but that is what I keep hearing. Then again I thought there was room in this world for people maturing at their own pace, not a strict set of rules that we all must follow. Personally I think that with this set of rules one is setting themselves up for great disappointment if they don't follow through.

                              1. re: DishDelish
                                Sharuf Aug 22, 2009 03:53 AM

                                IMO, by the time you are thirty, you should have achieved an adult level of autonomy and sense of responsibility and personal competence.

                                Granted, there are lots of perennial adolescents running around.

                                1. re: DishDelish
                                  queencru Aug 22, 2009 05:30 AM

                                  I went through a few years in a grad school program where people looked at me in horror for being 30+, single, and without kids. I thought it was a bit backwards if I say so myself, but some people are still stuck on the idea that you have to be set in a career by age 25 and have kids by 30. I think we're in a society now where people can question themselves at any age and it's okay to switch paths in order to achieve personal fulfillment.

                                  I just think it's sort of amusing to read in a Julie/Julia thread, since Julia Child wasn't exactly an early starter herself in any sense of the word.

                                  1. re: queencru
                                    Claudette Aug 23, 2009 04:13 PM

                                    Excellent point, queencru - Julia might have been just as aimless and annoying at age 29!

                                    1. re: Claudette
                                      buttertart Aug 24, 2009 09:43 AM

                                      Doubt it!

                                      1. re: Claudette
                                        Robert Lauriston Aug 24, 2009 11:35 AM

                                        Hardly. In 1942, when she was the same age as Julie Powell when she wrote her blog, Julia McWilliams was working as a research assistant for the head of the OSS (the precursor to the CIA) in DC. In the six or seven years between graduating from college and joining the OSS, she worked as a copywriter in NYC and as a freelance journalist in California.

                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                          queencru Aug 24, 2009 11:49 AM

                                          Even though this wasn't in the movie, a good deal of Julie's aimlessness has more to do with the fact that she's rounding 30 and doctors are telling her she may not have much time to have children. Because of her PCOS/fertility issues, she feels like she needs to find something else to do. Certainly in Julia's time, it was fairly rare to be 29 and without children. She had to question herself at least a bit when she was choosing a path that neither her parents nor society really approved of at that time.

                                          1. re: queencru
                                            DishDelish Aug 26, 2009 02:43 AM

                                            Speaking of PCOS (I didn't realize she had this before you mentioned it), I have a family member who is very near and dear to me who was diagnosed with this at 12, it is a terrible loss to be told that you may not be able to have children ever and you are right that this is probably part of the reason that Julie acts so immature. Not only from the emotional pain of it all but also the chemical imbalance that it causes to a woman. Many women of all ages experience monthly PMS, but having PCOS for some women causes them to experience these emotions for weeks on end at times. Now understanding that Julie had this issue makes it quite admirable that she undertook this project even though she did have the emotional meltdowns she was able to pull out of them. Good for her!

                                            1. re: DishDelish
                                              DallasDude Aug 26, 2009 11:46 AM

                                              I just think shes a putz and will leave it at that.

                                              1. re: DishDelish
                                                Robert Lauriston Aug 26, 2009 11:56 AM

                                                "... even though she did have the emotional meltdowns she was able to pull out of them ..."

                                                Julie Powell pretty strenuously disavows Nora Ephron's / the movie's portrayal of her emotional meltdowns:


                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                  queencru Aug 26, 2009 12:07 PM

                                                  She had meltdowns in the book, just not the ones pictured on the screen. She mentioned one where she was freaking out about being a failure because she didn't have children by the time she was thirty, but it seems like her blog readers told her to get over herself.

                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                    The Dairy Queen Aug 26, 2009 12:21 PM

                                                    I know you've posted this link at least once before and, until now, I haven't read it. Just some of the quotes you pulled from it.

                                                    I don't really have anything against Julie Powell, even though I haven't read her blog or her book. However, I disagree with your interpretation of this essay by Julia Powell that you've linked. I don't read it as a "strenuous disavowel" of the way the Julie character behaved EMOTIONALLY.

                                                    Yes, Powell strenuously disputes some important facts, but then she says that she WOULD LIKE TO THINK that she handled the meltdowns better than they were portrayed in the movie as follows:

                                                    "Every time I watch the scene in which Ephron's Eric Powell (played, spot-on, by Chris Messina) calls out Ephron's Julie Powell on her relentless self-involvement, as exemplified by her breakdown over the failure of Judith Jones to come over to her house and give her a book deal, I cringe. "I wasn't like that!" I think to myself. "I was never that much of a twit!"

                                                    BUT then she goes on to say that her blog was, in fact, an exercise in self-involvement. She acknowledges her narcissim and says that she WOULD LIKE TO THINK she was more self-aware, as follows:

                                                    "But was I? I like to think I was more self-aware--just as narcissistic, maybe, but at least conscious of my narcissism and able to poke fun at it. In my experience--even if many contemporary bloggers might take issue with this--the blogging was, at least in part, an exercise in self-involvement. Cooking through Mastering changed my life on many levels. It made me a better cook and a more confident person. And, yes, it wound up getting me a book deal (though that wasn't my intention starting out, I swear!)"

                                                    And then she basically concludes that

                                                    "Maybe the main difference between "Julie Powell" and Julie Powell is simply a matter of years."

                                                    So she strenuously disputes the charactizerization, but dances around the matter of emotional truth, always allowing for the possiblity that the movie was accurate in that respect. And basically wraps up with "I've grown up since then."

                                                    Frankly, I interpret this essay as an admission that the way the Julie Powell character was portrayed in the movie was emotionally true, with the quibble that Julie Powell thinks she had a better sense of humor than the Julie character in the movie has.

                                                    And, ultimately, the point of memoir is emotional truth. So, if Ephron managed to accurately convey the emotional truth of Powell's memoir, then she's actually done a pretty good job.


                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                      DGresh Aug 26, 2009 12:39 PM

                                                      I saw the movie but hadn't read the book or the blog previously. I didn't find Julie particularly annoying in the movie, but I only just read the first 10 pages or so of the book and have no desire to read any more. I personally think the movie did her a kindness.

                                                      1. re: DGresh
                                                        queencru Aug 26, 2009 03:14 PM

                                                        I agree that she's more likeable in the movie. I liked the book, but in some parts I really did get frustrated with her whining about turning 30 like it's the new 80. I think if they had included that in the movie, it really would have turned off the vast majority of the audience much more than it already did for a lot of people.

                                                        1. re: queencru
                                                          DishDelish Aug 26, 2009 04:06 PM

                                                          I didn't read the book, but I know what you mean about that fear of aging. It always annoys me too when people think 30 is old, as I have always thought it is very young. I have some friends who are this way though and I have just learned not to talk about it with them, and usually they are eldest children, or like I said I have a family member who has PCOS who is also an eldest and she hates getting older (more than anyone else I know). I wonder if it is also because of the fact that they are getting closer to 35 when the child-bearing years are nearing an end for the average woman, just making it even less likely for a woman with PCOS to conceive.

                                                          1. re: DishDelish
                                                            queencru Aug 26, 2009 04:45 PM

                                                            I'm a childless 30something myself, so I just found that part particularly annoying. I guess what bothered me most about the book was that the focus was on being 30 with no kids. She did mention it in conjunction with PCOS, but the worry was more about the age issue. It felt like an issue of contention in the marriage as well since her husband didn't seem all that interested.

                                                            1. re: queencru
                                                              chowser Aug 31, 2009 12:05 PM

                                                              Given how much she whined in the book about cooking her way through the book and how self absorbed she seemed, being childless might be a gift to her and her possible child. Much as having children might age you, maturity doesn't come automatically with child birth.

                                              2. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                Lewes17266 Aug 31, 2009 03:16 AM

                                                I found this about Julia and wanted to share it. It is a lovely obituary from Legacy: http://www.legacy.com/ns/fullstory.as...

                                                1. re: Lewes17266
                                                  ChefJune Aug 31, 2009 07:15 AM

                                                  That's a nice piece, but if you've read Julia's bios, you know that "The French Chef" was certainly NOT shot in her kitchen. The stories of Julia and Paul (along with helpers) schlepping all the equipment over to WGBH studios are hilarious.

                                                  The shows that were shot in her home kitchen were the ones called "In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs" and Baking with Julia.

                                            2. re: queencru
                                              DishDelish Aug 24, 2009 06:32 PM

                                              Thank you for pointing that out about Julia Childs. I love my life, I love having my 3 beautiful children, and always wanted to be a mother ... but I surely would not tell someone that there is something wrong with them if they don't have children by 30. My sister is almost 30, and she has no children and she is very happy with her life. Sure she wants children eventually ... but there is no rush. She makes an excellent aunt though. =)

                                              1. re: DishDelish
                                                Sharuf Aug 25, 2009 04:49 AM

                                                In speaking above of 30-year-olds, I used the term "parental figure", which does not necessarily mean "parent".

                                                answers.com defines it thusly:
                                                ... A person who represents essential but not necessarily ideal attributes of a father or mother and who is the object of the attitudes and responses of an individual in a parent-child relationship.

                                                1. re: Sharuf
                                                  DallasDude Aug 25, 2009 08:53 AM

                                                  We new what you meant, some people just like to argue. Ignore them, Sharuf.

                                                  1. re: Sharuf
                                                    DishDelish Aug 26, 2009 02:46 AM

                                                    Who did she need to be a parental figure to? Were there children that she was directly influencing?

                                          2. s
                                            shallots Aug 19, 2009 03:36 PM

                                            We just got back and Mr Shallots had the odd feeling of being the only guy in the movie.

                                            Did Julie just cook Vol. 1?
                                            I thought I recognized recipes from that one only.

                                            About the cooked cukes. Years...no, damn it, it was decades ago, I tried that recipe and the result was really bitter. Anybody try that one with lip smacking success?

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: shallots
                                              Robert Lauriston Aug 19, 2009 08:12 PM

                                              Yes, only the first book.

                                              Cucumbers occasionally are bitter. That has to do with watering and various other factors, not cooking.

                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                DallasDude Aug 19, 2009 08:38 PM

                                                The bitter agent in cucumbers can be cut by processing the fruit properly. The chemical that makes it bitter is concentrated on the stem end and can be lessened to a great deal by processing it correctly. Start peeling at the blossom end of the fruit. Slice away one strip of the green peel toward the stem end and stop about one inch from the stem. Then wash off the knife blade, then repeat peeling from blossom to stem end until the fruit is peeled. Rinse the knife again and cut up the cucumber as needed.

                                                Courtesy of my local Extension Agent, Hank Kimble.

                                                1. re: DallasDude
                                                  TrishUntrapped Aug 20, 2009 07:18 AM

                                                  Good tip!

                                                  Hank Kimble, lol.

                                                  1. re: DallasDude
                                                    Robert Lauriston Aug 20, 2009 10:55 AM

                                                    That doesn't always work. We got some from a friend's garden recently that were as bitter as dandelion greens all the way through. I was thinking of making bitters from them.

                                              2. f
                                                Fydeaux Aug 17, 2009 03:32 PM

                                                I havent seen it yet, but I heard that they cut the scenes where Julia parachutes behind enemy lines to fight the Nazis and cook for Le Resistance.

                                                Is this true?


                                                15 Replies
                                                1. re: Fydeaux
                                                  DallasDude Aug 17, 2009 04:23 PM

                                                  What the cutesy film DID leave out was Julie's affair. That may have made it a bit more Lifetime, but infinitely more interesting. As is, a bit too saccharin for my taste.

                                                  1. re: DallasDude
                                                    Caitlin McGrath Aug 17, 2009 05:35 PM

                                                    The Julie material was taken from the book "Julie and Julia," and Powell did not discuss an affair in her blog or book. It's common knowledge now because she discusses it in her about-to-be-released second book, which is getting publicity.

                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                      DishDelish Aug 17, 2009 07:14 PM

                                                      Are she and her husband still together now that this is out?

                                                      1. re: DishDelish
                                                        Caitlin McGrath Aug 17, 2009 07:17 PM

                                                        Yes. Apparently her second book talks about it and its effects on her marriage, etc. But it's history and they are still married.

                                                      2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                        Robert Lauriston Aug 18, 2009 08:36 AM

                                                        Ephron's comment was, "[Powell's affair] happened way afterwards, so how could I have addressed it in the film? It didn't happen in the time frame of the movie."


                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                          Caitlin McGrath Aug 18, 2009 01:43 PM

                                                          Yeah, and I don't quite get why it's been so remarked upon, as if Ephpron is whitewashing the sordid, complex life of Powell, when the film is clearly structured as a snapshot of a certain time in each woman's life.

                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                            DishDelish Aug 18, 2009 02:23 PM

                                                            Great point. And Ephron portrayed this very well.

                                                      3. re: DallasDude
                                                        The Dairy Queen Aug 17, 2009 06:15 PM

                                                        Good grief! How did she have time?


                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                          DallasDude Aug 17, 2009 06:31 PM

                                                          If you have met her or read the book, you would know she is very self-indulgent.

                                                          1. re: DallasDude
                                                            The Dairy Queen Aug 17, 2009 06:58 PM

                                                            I've neither met her nor read her book. Have you met her?


                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                              DallasDude Aug 17, 2009 10:28 PM

                                                              Me? Yes, I have. She was in town a few weeks back (Dallas).

                                                            2. re: DallasDude
                                                              woodandfine Aug 17, 2009 07:52 PM

                                                              ". . .you would know she is very self-indulgent."

                                                              Yawn. Powell admits to being solipsistic. Would her book have come about if she weren't focused on herself? And these days, who isn't?

                                                              It's getting a bit trite for people to label successful women, who chronicle their adventures or lecture on a topic, as self-indulgent.

                                                              No one ever accuses Sedaris, Burroughs, or even Dr. Phil as being self-indulgent.

                                                              1. re: woodandfine
                                                                DallasDude Aug 17, 2009 10:31 PM

                                                                Well, I am not caught up in these odd quirky peoples lives. I can rag on Dr Phil too, as having met him, and know of all his lurid tales as well (another one from Dallas). I am simply put off by all these people. Nothing more.

                                                                The sham icons are created by us (well, you, since I do not buy into it).

                                                                Carry on, nothing to see here...

                                                                1. re: woodandfine
                                                                  southernitalian Aug 18, 2009 08:16 AM

                                                                  I think David Sedaris would be the very first one in line to call himself self-indulgent but I do agree that women are given that label way too often. I cannot wait to see this movie but I think I have to wait until I can rent it so I can pause to make snacks.

                                                                  1. re: southernitalian
                                                                    DishDelish Aug 18, 2009 02:23 PM

                                                                    So funny! Yes, you will definitely want to make snacks! =)

                                                        2. c
                                                          Claudette Aug 17, 2009 11:23 AM

                                                          Just saw this yesterday with my husband and teenager, and everyone in the theatre loved it. I thought Nora did a great job with the segues between the two lives, and a pretty good edit of Julie's life, even though she skipped the truly annoying as well as the truly hilarious entries. Don't forget: Julie was only a twenty-something then, and none of us was very interesting at that stage in our lives, either.

                                                          My husband was enthralled with Stanley Tucci: his great looks, his great acting - everything. Given his body of work, he deserves an Oscar nomination, too. Perhaps I'll host a Julia dinner on Oscar night next year, and make everyone dress up as Julia (my husband would look great in pearls and a hat!).

                                                          Afterward, we went home for my Boeuf Bourguignon and Creme Caramel Renversee dinner, and toasted the movie! Bon Appetit!

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: Claudette
                                                            Robert Lauriston Aug 17, 2009 11:55 AM

                                                            Julie Powell was 29 and 30 when she was blogging her way through MtAoFC.

                                                            The real Julie wasn't / isn't as boring as Nora Ephron's character. "Ephron's Julie is not particularly funny--she is instead a person to whom funny things happen--whereas one of the great discoveries of my year cooking through Julia Child's marvelous, world-changing book and writing about it was that I could develop a voice people found engaging and humorous. (Possibly the greatest exchange of that entire year--Me: 'I never realized I was funny before!' My mom: 'I know--neither did I!')"


                                                            1. re: Claudette
                                                              ChefJune Aug 17, 2009 01:56 PM

                                                              <Perhaps I'll host a Julia dinner on Oscar night next year, and make everyone dress up as Julia (my husband would look great in pearls and a hat!). >

                                                              What a hoot that would be! But fwiw, I knew Julia for 20 years, and never saw her in a hat, unless it was the dead of winter.

                                                              1. re: ChefJune
                                                                TrishUntrapped Aug 17, 2009 02:11 PM

                                                                ChefJune, as I am sure you know, you are one lucky person!

                                                                1. re: ChefJune
                                                                  NYCkaren Aug 17, 2009 02:25 PM

                                                                  But those scenes with the hat would have been in the 1940s and 1950s, when hats were more widely worn. What years did you know her?

                                                                  1. re: NYCkaren
                                                                    Robert Lauriston Aug 17, 2009 02:34 PM

                                                                    Yeah, if anything it was odd that she was hatless in some of the street scenes in Paris.

                                                                    1. re: NYCkaren
                                                                      ChefJune Aug 18, 2009 08:03 AM

                                                                      That's true. 40's and 50's were definitely "hat years" for all well-dressed women. Thanks to Jackie Kennedy for putting a stop to that!

                                                                      I knew her from 84 until the end.

                                                                2. Lewes17266 Aug 17, 2009 08:08 AM

                                                                  I loved Julie and Julia. It made me sentimental for Julia Child though. I wished it was more about her and less about the blogger, but still I enjoyed it. Meryl Streep was brilliant.

                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Lewes17266
                                                                    TrishUntrapped Aug 17, 2009 11:01 AM

                                                                    IMHO, Meryl Streep's performance was Oscar worthy. Like a great meal, it left me wanting more.

                                                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped
                                                                      Lewes17266 Aug 18, 2009 06:18 AM

                                                                      Meryl Streep even grew taller for the part!

                                                                      1. re: Lewes17266
                                                                        greygarious Aug 19, 2009 06:21 PM

                                                                        A local Boston TV station interviewed Ming Tsai and Michela Larson, both chefs who knew Julia Child and who enjoyed the movie. I imagine Ming is still trying to live down his awestruck comment that he had no idea Meryl Streep was so tall (no, he wasn't joking). Oh well, at least it shows he hasn't "gone Hollywood" like many hobnob-with-the-stars celebrity chefs.

                                                                        1. re: Lewes17266
                                                                          afoodyear Aug 31, 2009 11:53 AM

                                                                          Haha! I really enjoyed Meryl Streep's performance too. I kind of wish the whole movie was more or less about the Julia Child story. Every time they'd switch over to Powell, I felt I was just waiting to switch back.

                                                                          1. re: afoodyear
                                                                            mjhals Aug 31, 2009 01:57 PM

                                                                            I second this sentiment! I loved the Julia part so much, and just immediately wanted it switched back when the film shifted to Julie. I didn't have that strong of feelings about Julie like many posters did. No real opinion if she's selfish, a twit, unfunny, whatever. She's just much, much, much less compelling than Julia. The scenes with Julia and her sister were hilarious and charming. I just can't imagine that anyone would feel the need to put in the Julie part, it just took away from the movie for me.

                                                                            1. re: mjhals
                                                                              Withnail42 Sep 5, 2009 01:57 PM

                                                                              Was joan Cusak supposed to be playing Julia in a movie?

                                                                              I certainly agree that Julia child did not need a blogger's help to tell her story.

                                                                              1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                Robert Lauriston Sep 5, 2009 03:54 PM

                                                                                Joan Cusack owns the film rights to Noel Riley Fitch’s "Appetite for Life."

                                                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                  Caitlin McGrath Sep 5, 2009 06:04 PM

                                                                                  I don't see that getting a high priority for development now. (Note: I don't know if it is or was a high-priority project for Cusack.)

                                                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                    Withnail42 Sep 6, 2009 04:57 AM

                                                                                    Thanks for the clarification.

                                                                                    Interesting book that was featured prominently in the film.

                                                                                    Perhaps with the success of the film and resurgence of interest in JC there might be more interest in the film. The down side is that every one will be comparing the performances of Streep and Cusack.

                                                                          2. re: TrishUntrapped
                                                                            LindaWhit Aug 18, 2009 06:20 AM

                                                                            That's a perfect way to put it Trish - I wanted more. I was almost disappointed when I knew it was ending.

                                                                        2. The Dairy Queen Aug 16, 2009 08:40 PM

                                                                          Did anyone else feel devastated by the Irma Rombauer character's revelation that she didn't test all the recipes in the Joy of Cooking?

                                                                          Or wonder how Julie could carry a pound of butter in her purse?

                                                                          I know this is a ridiculous thought, but after being an off and on participant in COTM for the past year-and-a-half, I wonder what Julie and her husband could have done with all of the leftovers. Powell was cooking an average of 1.5 recipes per day. When I participate in COTM, I can't typically do more than 3-4 recipes a week from the chosen book or I start to become overwhelmed with leftovers. Weren't they overwhelmed with theirs? I can see that they occasionally had friends over, but I wondered what they did with all that food.

                                                                          I also wanted to know how much weight they put on.

                                                                          And how much money the Paypal thing brought in.

                                                                          I know this is all beside the point, but these are the sort of practical considerations that plague me.


                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                            DGresh Aug 17, 2009 03:36 AM

                                                                            I too wondered about the leftovers. It didn't look like they were wealthy enough to just toss them out. And to imagine cooking in that little NYC kitchen!

                                                                            1. re: DGresh
                                                                              Old Spice Aug 17, 2009 09:37 AM

                                                                              I spent over 30 years cooking in tiny little NYC kitchens. The first was the smallest: tiny stove, half fridge, about 4 square inches of counter space, and a sink the same size as the one in the bathroom. Clearly a set-up best suited for minimalist dishes. But I wanted to get serious about cooking, and in the mid-70s, to me, that meant Julia Child.

                                                                              In following Julie Powell's blog in real-time, I could forgive her occasional whines. I could well remember making Julia's boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin in that first kitchen. Or, in that first apartment would be more accurate. It involved commandeering parts of the living/bedroom for work surfaces, and washing up all those pots, pans, and dishes in the bathtub (a notion that still grosses my sister out all these years after the fact, and I'm still alive to tell the tale). While I enjoyed the finished dishes, you can bet there was a good deal of whining and cursing during the prep and cleanup.

                                                                              Julia earned many accolades, but has anyone credited her with being a driving force behind the development of the improvisation skills required to pull off complex dishes in small NYC kitchens?

                                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                              Jack_ Aug 17, 2009 08:57 AM

                                                                              And what was that butter? the only brands I find in NYC packaged in 1 lb bars are Plugra and Cabot (well and hotel bar too but that doesn't really count)

                                                                              1. re: Jack_
                                                                                TrishUntrapped Aug 17, 2009 10:59 AM

                                                                                Since Julia's kitchen is part of the Smithsonian exhibit, I'd say the butter might have been purchased in D.C.

                                                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped
                                                                                  Robert Lauriston Aug 17, 2009 11:47 AM

                                                                                  That was a set on a sound stage in Queens.

                                                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                    TrishUntrapped Aug 17, 2009 11:52 AM

                                                                                    Oh no, I didn't mean the actual butter used in the movie was from D.C.. I meant since the scene is set in D.C. perhaps it was a D.C. brand of butter that was used (for authenticity's sake.)

                                                                                    Of course I was just guessing, and if I think anymore about the butter, I will get analysis paralysis.

                                                                              2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                Robert Lauriston Aug 17, 2009 09:38 AM

                                                                                They ate leftovers all the time. Some nights she'd make three or four dishes, others she didn't cook.

                                                                                "Upshot being, I got leftovers out of my ears, and me with poached eggs in bechamel sauce, roast chicken, broiled tomatoes, gratined potatoes and creme brulee to get through this weekend."

                                                                                "Holy shit. I'm going to gain 50 pounds this year, aren't I? You know, I have alway considered Paul Prudhomme a martyr to the culinary arts. Can I ask any less of myself?"

                                                                                "After more than six months of neatly avoiding a scale, it is at last my sad duty to report that, contrary to our fondest hopes, The Julie/Julia Project is definitively not an effective weight loss program. ... if you’re just coming off a debilitating bout of consumption, this might be just the thing for getting the meat back on your bones."

                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                                  afoodyear Aug 31, 2009 11:51 AM

                                                                                  I did a blog project in 2006 where I ate a different dinner every day for a year and was often compared to the Julie and Julia project without even knowing what it was at first. I did about 700 recipes in the year, so I'm pretty familiar first hand with such an undertaking.

                                                                                  RE: Leftovers - there's always breakfast and lunch ;) After forcing yourself to start from scratch every day from dinner, the routine for all the other meals often falls into consuming the remnants from the previous night's dinner.

                                                                                  RE: Weight. I actually didn't gain an ounce, surprisingly. If nothing else, cooking at home every day kept me off of snacks and fast food, which sort of balanced things, even when butter and bacon were included.

                                                                                  RE: Paypal - errr... you probably don't know who I am, so I wasn't as successful as Julie Powell and brought in a lot less, I assure you :) I made enough to pay for my hosting, which was nice. I imagine she made a lot more!

                                                                                  1. re: afoodyear
                                                                                    LindaWhit Aug 31, 2009 01:29 PM

                                                                                    OMG, I seriously LOVE that you put all of your different dinner dishes in a picture calendar! And some of the titles to each dinner are very punny. ;-)

                                                                                2. s
                                                                                  small h Aug 16, 2009 12:23 PM

                                                                                  I saw it last night; it was okay. I thought all of the performances were solid, but the parallel construction got very wearing after a while: Julie does this, Julia does this, Julie does this, Julia does this. I wish there'd been more about the actual learning-to-cook process, in both storylines. We saw couple of token tragedies and triumphs, but very little about what actually drove these women to the stove. To both of them, finding success as a writer meant more than becoming expert in the kitchen (which makes sense in Powell's case, at least).

                                                                                  I really don't understand the Julie Powell-haters, though (they're over on the other threads). She had a crappy, depressing job during a crappy, depressing time to live in New York City. She felt bad about herself because she was creatively stalled, and her friends and husband were more successful than she was. Yes, she was kinda whiny. Who wouldn't be?

                                                                                  The theater was nearly full, a week after the movie came out, at 4:30 on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. That surprised me.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: small h
                                                                                    TrishUntrapped Aug 16, 2009 06:21 PM

                                                                                    I agree with you small H, the back and forthness didn't meld well with me as a movie technique.

                                                                                    And thank you Lewes! It was a happy birthday (51 eesh, I'm old!)

                                                                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped
                                                                                      Lewes17266 Aug 17, 2009 08:11 AM

                                                                                      1958 was a good year! Thank goodness for reading glasses!

                                                                                  2. TrishUntrapped Aug 15, 2009 06:33 PM

                                                                                    I saw the movie this week while experiencing a rain day on Cape Cod.

                                                                                    I admit to being a Julia Child fan from childhood and love the fact that we both share the same birthday, today Aug. 15.

                                                                                    I just got home and was curious what others on Chowhound were saying about the film. I see it is a mixed bag.

                                                                                    I loved Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci's portrayals of Julia and Paul. They were utterly delightful.

                                                                                    I didn't warm to Julie Powell's plot. The scenes where she and her husband were eating with their hands were kind of gross, and I didn't warm to her salvation, as I was expecting to.

                                                                                    The stories just didn't meld together well as a movie experience.

                                                                                    It was a challenge. Nora tried.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped
                                                                                      Lewes17266 Aug 16, 2009 11:51 AM

                                                                                      Happy belated birthday!

                                                                                    2. h
                                                                                      HotMelly Aug 15, 2009 02:50 AM

                                                                                      I guess I go to the movies for entertainment only. I try to not be critical, or try to find something in error in the movie. I really enjoyed it. I laughed remembering watching Julia when I was little and some of her blunders. I make blunders but my food never recovers, usually.

                                                                                      1. bagelman01 Aug 14, 2009 06:59 PM

                                                                                        What could be bad? Having to sit through more than two hours of this movie!

                                                                                        Two perfectly good stories, each that would have made a good one hour TV show were combined into a too long movie. I wanted to leave, but my wife wanted to stay, so we did. A number of patrons walked. I kept hoping it would get better, but it didn't.

                                                                                        I wish instead of the movie, someone ran a eating extravaganza of all the items from Julia's cookbook.

                                                                                        46 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: bagelman01
                                                                                          woodandfine Aug 14, 2009 11:01 PM

                                                                                          bagelman, what irritated you about this flick? Was it the portrayal of Julie Powell, the jumping from one character to another, the dialogue....what?

                                                                                          1. re: woodandfine
                                                                                            bagelman01 Aug 16, 2009 07:13 PM

                                                                                            The stories just did not meld into one. I thoroughly enjoyed Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci in the Julia Child story and could have watched a 2 hour movie of their life. The story of Julia Child's husband is often overlooked.

                                                                                            The Julie Powell story seemed like a 'disease of the week' movie my mother used to watch every Sunday night on CBS. Poorly written, fairly well acted, but boring.

                                                                                            For waht was paid for the screen righst this should have been two separate and vbery different movies. The Julie story had no place in Julia Child's bio.
                                                                                            The Julia bio could have been effective for about 15020 minutes of reference flashbacks in a Juliw Powell story.

                                                                                            When Movies cost $11.25 (I'm too young for a senior discount <VBG>) and bad pospcorn and a soda are $12.00 this was ridiculous.

                                                                                            Some fine acting but superficial.

                                                                                          2. re: bagelman01
                                                                                            Jack_ Aug 15, 2009 12:13 PM

                                                                                            I guess we just disagree.

                                                                                            I saw 2 love stories and the stories of 2 women that found something that changed their lives and inspired me.

                                                                                            1. re: Jack_
                                                                                              DishDelish Aug 17, 2009 01:27 AM

                                                                                              I loved it, and my family ( Mom, sister, and husband) all loved it!! I have learned so much from my movie buff husband about what a good film is (and he can be picky) and this definitely was a great film! Very inspirational! I keep meeting people who saw it and loved it as well ... for instance, the other day at a local health club I over heard 2 women in the locker room talking about it and we got to discussing how wonderful the movie was and how we all wanted to go home and cook after seeing it. =)

                                                                                              1. re: DishDelish
                                                                                                val de loire Aug 26, 2009 04:50 PM

                                                                                                I agree with you. In fact, I was inspired to cook my way through one of my favorite cookbook authors, Ina Garten. I am beginning with her Paris cookbook and am writing a blog about it.

                                                                                                1. re: val de loire
                                                                                                  Clarkafella Sep 3, 2009 11:58 AM

                                                                                                  Funny, after the movie I decided to try my hand at boeuf bourguignon- didn't have Julia's cookbook though, so I grabbed my copy of Ina's "Barefoot in Paris" and used the recipe in there- turned out great!

                                                                                                  Good luck with your endeavor...

                                                                                                  1. re: val de loire
                                                                                                    DishDelish Sep 3, 2009 06:10 PM

                                                                                                    I somehow missed your response up until now. I absolutely love Ina Garten! What a great idea! =) When will you begin your project?

                                                                                                2. re: Jack_
                                                                                                  LindaWhit Aug 18, 2009 05:44 AM

                                                                                                  I finally got to see the movie last night with a friend, and like you, very much enjoyed the movie. While yes, I found the Julie character a bit whiny, it wasn't near as bad as some have made her out to be (but then again, I never read her blog or book). I enjoyed the paralleling of their lives and the discovery of self in both Julia and Julie.

                                                                                                  Meryl Streep was amazing, as was Stanley Tucci. The affection the two actors really feel for each other came across on the screen as Julia and Paul. I so enjoyed this movie - the joy with which Meryl played Julia was so much fun to watch!

                                                                                                  I got a kick out of seeing Julie's actor husband, Eric, eating the bruschetta she made early on in the film (and knowing there were about 20-some-odd takes of that scene, IIRC! LOL)

                                                                                                  I really loved this movie. My friend is most definitely not a food person, but knew the film would be good - she expected more of Julia's life, and was disappointed (as we all were, I suppose) that there was not more shown of it. But people clapped at the end, and practically everyone walked out of the theater with a big smile on their faces. :-)

                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                    KayceeK Aug 18, 2009 03:22 PM

                                                                                                    Just finished the book, and Julie's personality that comes through the pages makes me NOT want to see the movie. From most reviews though of the film, it sounds like the vice versa is true...people might be willing to give the book a chance from what they saw on screen.

                                                                                                    1. re: KayceeK
                                                                                                      DGresh Aug 19, 2009 06:52 AM

                                                                                                      I think the movie may have "sanitized" a lot of what was annoying about Julie. I haven't read the book, but that's what I have read.

                                                                                                      1. re: DGresh
                                                                                                        Robert Lauriston Aug 19, 2009 08:38 AM

                                                                                                        Actually, Ephron probably made her Julie Powell more annoying than the original by stripping out the humor and making her whinier and more self-centered.

                                                                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                          KayceeK Aug 19, 2009 08:49 AM

                                                                                                          Yikes - I found book-Julie extremely self-centered.

                                                                                                          1. re: KayceeK
                                                                                                            DallasDude Aug 19, 2009 09:21 AM

                                                                                                            I mentioned this earlier, and was called a misogynist. Funny, eh?

                                                                                                            1. re: KayceeK
                                                                                                              Chocolatechipkt Aug 25, 2009 06:00 AM

                                                                                                              I felt that way too KayceeK. I have no desire to see the movie because of that, though Meryl Streep does look pretty good as JC.

                                                                                                    2. re: Jack_
                                                                                                      HillJ Sep 4, 2009 06:25 AM

                                                                                                      I'm w/Jack on this one!

                                                                                                      I read the blog, read the books, now enjoyed the movie.
                                                                                                      Loved it. Individually & together told as one adorable story. I can't remember the last time I laughed over "adorable-ness." Two great actresses. Tucci was brillant and seeing a sexy/female side to Julia, heaven.

                                                                                                      I didn't expect to be disappointed by Meryl (god she nailed that Julia-voice) and Julie was played true to the real gal. Nora did a marvelous job.

                                                                                                      With a long list of male-buddy movies out there, it was a refreshing and welcomed change to watch a female duo.

                                                                                                      The fact that the theme tickled my CH heart was a big bonus.

                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                        Robert Lauriston Sep 4, 2009 09:47 AM

                                                                                                        The real Julie Powell is funny and not as big a crybaby.

                                                                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                          HillJ Sep 4, 2009 10:43 AM

                                                                                                          See now I didn't intrepret her scenes cry babyish at all and I thought her dry humor came across beautifully.

                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                            DishDelish Sep 4, 2009 04:08 PM

                                                                                                            When I was watching it I saw the scenes where she was extra emotional as the excepted way many women would react and feel when they are so overcommitted and tired (especially when holding your feelings inside). I have felt this way at times with having to take care of 3 sick children (and I love taking care of my kiddos), one who always had colic as a baby, and never getting any sleep. Julie worked full time and had to commute long distance 2 times each day then come home and cook. It was alot to take on and she got drained as most women (and men) would. So I agree, she did not come across the screen as a cry baby to me either. It really was a great movie, and I plan on buying it eventually when out on dvd and prices have gone down.

                                                                                                            1. re: DishDelish
                                                                                                              queencru Sep 4, 2009 04:15 PM

                                                                                                              I agree. I found her real persona in the book to be much more obnoxious than the on screen version. I know many women who react that way when they are stressed out at work and have a lot on their plates at home too.

                                                                                                              1. re: queencru
                                                                                                                DishDelish Sep 4, 2009 04:22 PM

                                                                                                                From what everyone has said about the book I will probably skip it ... or just skim it next time I find myself at the library.

                                                                                                                1. re: DishDelish
                                                                                                                  HillJ Sep 4, 2009 04:30 PM

                                                                                                                  DishD, read the whole book. Don't let "everybody" steer ya. Both books were entertaining reads.

                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                    queencru Sep 4, 2009 04:36 PM

                                                                                                                    I actually didn't mind the book, but I found it to be somewhat offensive in this day and age that she was going on about being a failure because she was 30 and didn't have kids yet. In the context of this project, it just seemed a bit ridiculous. I guess I was just hoping that she would come to grips with the real possibility she'd have no children through doing this project, but that didn't happen.

                                                                                                                    1. re: queencru
                                                                                                                      HillJ Sep 4, 2009 04:56 PM

                                                                                                                      See now I didn't take her turning 30 or not having kids yet as a big part of her story. Just something we all go thru. I had my 3rd child at 31 and couldn't have dreamed of blogging. Life's funny like that, yes?

                                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                        queencru Sep 4, 2009 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                        I'm in my thirties and am happy having no children, so it probably just depends on your perspective. I feel offended when people think I'm less of a woman because I've decided not to go that route. It also seems to go against the spirit of Julia, who was able to do amazing things with her life without ever having children.

                                                                                                                        1. re: queencru
                                                                                                                          HillJ Sep 4, 2009 08:43 PM

                                                                                                                          queencru, you gotta trust what makes your happy. Your'e right, Julia & Julie have done amazing things and they inspire us. The take away lesson for me is to celebrate your choices.

                                                                                                                      2. re: queencru
                                                                                                                        DishDelish Sep 4, 2009 11:32 PM

                                                                                                                        She probably felt like a failure because she so desperately wanted to have children. She probably doesn't see other childless women in their 30's as failures though. I can understand what it might be like ... because I'm one of those women who always wanted to have children... but on the other hand I have the utmost respect for women who chose to stay single or not have children as well because they are following their own path.

                                                                                                                        1. re: DishDelish
                                                                                                                          HillJ Sep 5, 2009 06:21 AM

                                                                                                                          Didn't Julia's story address her own struggle bearing children. I understood the wanting but I can also understand the choice to not have children.

                                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                            DishDelish Sep 5, 2009 12:43 PM

                                                                                                                            I'm not really sure. The movie showed her being overjoyed and crying with her sister's pregnancy ... maybe she didn't have children because she was already much older when she married? I will have to read more about Julia.

                                                                                                                            1. re: DishDelish
                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Sep 5, 2009 12:56 PM

                                                                                                                              Her tears and sobbing into Paul's shoulder, to me, sounded like sad tears, even though she said (in the movie) "I'm so happy." Paul said "I know, I know" and patted her back. I took that to mean Julia was both overjoyed for her sister and sad for herself, as she never had children. I haven't yet read "My Life in France" so I don't know if she and Paul tried to have children but couldn't.

                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                queencru Sep 5, 2009 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                I got the same impression from the movie. It seemed like Julia very much wanted children but was unable to conceive.

                                                                                                                                1. re: queencru
                                                                                                                                  HillJ Sep 5, 2009 01:22 PM

                                                                                                                                  That was my intrepretation of the scene as well. My Life in France does not come right out and discuss why Julia & Paul did not have children. Since the book & movie there has been speculation given the Director's choice in that scene btwn Streep & Tucci.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: queencru
                                                                                                                                    moh Sep 5, 2009 04:28 PM

                                                                                                                                    In "My Life in France" (which I am just reading now), Julia writes about pregnancy:

                                                                                                                                    "We had tried. But for some reason our efforts didn't take. It was sad, but we didn't spend too much time thinking about it and never considered adoption. It was just one of those things." (Page 101).

                                                                                                                                    1. re: moh
                                                                                                                                      HillJ Sep 5, 2009 05:14 PM

                                                                                                                                      Thanks for sharing that moh. I didn't remember the exact quote but I do remember the subject of pregnancy was not a large portion of the book.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                        moh Sep 5, 2009 06:05 PM

                                                                                                                                        I must say, I am really loving this book! I am enjoying her voice, and I really get a sense of the joy she got from cooking and eating. I am new to Julia Child in that I do not own her cookbooks, I have not seen a lot of her shows. Of course, I "know" a lot about her because so much has been written and said about her. And of course, I've seen the spoofs on SNL (sheepish grin). What can I say, I'm a bit younger, and well, Julia Child is not part of a young Korean-Canadian first generation's experience. But I am really excited to be discovering her, and if I continue to enjoy "My Life in France" as much as I have been, I am definitely going to have buy MTAOFC!

                                                                                                                                        Funny, I have read "Julie and Julia", and it was entertaining, but in the end I was a little disappointed. I guess I didn't find Julie's voice as compelling. But although I am not as big a fan of Julie Powell, I have to give her kudos for introducing a whole new generation of people to Julia Child.

                                                                                                                                        I have not yet seen the movie, but I will likely do so, when the DVD comes out.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: moh
                                                                                                                                          HillJ Sep 5, 2009 08:16 PM

                                                                                                                                          moh, I really enjoyed your post and personal excitement! Julia inspires alot of us and although I grew up watching her cooking programs I didn't appreciate her true genius for home cooks until I was older. As for Julie, I have to say I find her project and the entire blogging genre a fascinating communication tool. I don't fault her ambition, or the fact that she landed a book deal and movie from her own efforts. I think the comparison is ridiculous and it was the Director that made the decision to combine both books; not the women themselves :)

                                                                                                                                          So, I'm enjoying both because in their own way they shared their voices, individual as they were, with all of us. Julie had no way of knowing her blog would catch fire and Julia had no way of knowing her charm would attract millions. As a women, I applaud their spirit.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: moh
                                                                                                                                        queencru Sep 5, 2009 05:23 PM

                                                                                                                                        Thanks for letting us know. I was curious since it was not really mentioned in Julie's book or the movie.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                      DishDelish Sep 5, 2009 06:09 PM

                                                                                                                                      Yes, that sounds like a good interpretation of the scene. It was a bittersweet depiction of how she felt. I love how she continues to be positive despite her sadness though.

                                                                                                                              2. re: queencru
                                                                                                                                Robert Lauriston Sep 5, 2009 09:25 AM

                                                                                                                                I'm not sure that Julie Powell really wanted to have kids, it was just one of the things about which she obsessed neurotically. "Earlier that evening, after the gynecologist appointment, when I was standing in the Korean deli staring at produce, I'd been thinking, 'I'm twenty-nine, I'm never going to have kids or a real job, my husband will leave me and I'll die alone in an outer-borough hovel with twenty cats and it'll take two weeks for the stench to reach the hall.' But now, three bowls of potato soup later, I was, to my relief, thinking of nothing much at all."

                                                                                                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                                                  queencru Sep 5, 2009 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                  It seems like there were parts of the book where she was trying to convince her husband to have kids but that he was a bit reluctant to try. That's how I took it, at least.

                                                                                                                              3. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                DishDelish Sep 4, 2009 11:34 PM

                                                                                                                                Ok, ok ... maybe I'll actually bring it home from the library then =) Trust me, I don't need to buy another book as the hubby and I have way to many and will be downsizing to a small home next month.

                                                                                                                                1. re: DishDelish
                                                                                                                                  queencru Sep 5, 2009 06:11 AM

                                                                                                                                  I think you have to read it to see what I mean. She does mentioned that her blog readers commented on one post where she whined about turning thirty with no children. It seems like many thought she was overreacting. If it's not at the library, I am sure you know someone who has it and will let you borrow it.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: queencru
                                                                                                                                    DishDelish Sep 5, 2009 12:37 PM

                                                                                                                                    I think they'll have it, but I may have to get on a waiting list.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: DishDelish
                                                                                                                                    HillJ Sep 5, 2009 06:19 AM

                                                                                                                                    Oh I hear ya DishD, I bought a second-hand copy thru Amazon.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                      DishDelish Sep 5, 2009 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                      Ohhhh I have definitely bought lots of goodies from amazon. Love those cheap second hand books! =)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: DishDelish
                                                                                                                                        Glencora Sep 5, 2009 01:41 PM

                                                                                                                                        Wouldn't want to give the author any money, would ya? (Sorry. Couldn't help it.)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Glencora
                                                                                                                                          DishDelish Sep 5, 2009 06:17 PM

                                                                                                                                          I love them because I could not afford them any other way. We are pretty low income for having 3 children, but we find ways to do well enough. Trust me, living in Alaska is expensive enough, I wouldn't have the ability to read if I didn't buy most things at a discounted price.

                                                                                                                2. CindyJ Aug 14, 2009 01:44 PM

                                                                                                                  That kind of reminds me of a time when I was a little kid, learning cursive writing in school, and I believed that if I could just use the teacher's pen, my handwriting would be perfect. :)

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