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Just got back from seeing Julie & Julia

  • j

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."

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  1. 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. :)

    1. 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

        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

          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

          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_

            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

              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

                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

                  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_

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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

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

                        1. re: KayceeK

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

                          1. re: KayceeK

                            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_

                    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

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

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

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

                        1. re: HillJ

                          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

                            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

                              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

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

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  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

                                    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

                                      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

                                        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

                                      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

                                        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

                                          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

                                            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

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

                                              1. re: queencru

                                                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

                                                  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

                                                    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

                                                      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

                                                        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

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

                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                    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

                                              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

                                                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

                                              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

                                                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

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

                                                2. re: DishDelish

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

                                                  1. re: HillJ

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

                                                    1. re: DishDelish

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

                                                      1. re: Glencora

                                                        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. 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. 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. 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

                                      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

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