Unsolicited Movie Review: Julie and Julia

KFR movie review time. Last night B and I settled in with a bloody mary (me) and some sparkling cranberry juice (her and Baby X) and watched Julie and Julia. As everyone already knows, it's the story of Julia Child's life, from her arrival in France with her diplomat husband to the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, intertwined with the story of some histrionic boring person named Julie, who cooked all of the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking over the course of a year in about 2002 - 2003.

The Julia Child half of the movie is awesome. Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci are awesome. The dialogue is funny and their relationship is believable. The filmmakers also did a nice job with the Parisian setting. My hero Jane Lynch rocks it as Julia Child's equally enormous sister.

The boring histrionic person half of the movie sucks a butt. The reason that you, the viewer, care about Julia Child's trials and tribulations is that she's an incredibly likeable, charismatic person (both in real life and in Streep's portrayal.) Julie Powell, on the other hand, has absolutely no appeal. Halfway through her story arch her husband storms off for 24 hours, sick of her shit, and I wished I had the option of storming out of that half of the movie along with him.

In short: why the heck did the filmmakers decide they needed to do both? They could have made the Julia Child part into the whole movie, and it would have been a really, really excellent movie, a semi-romantic comedy even people like me who hate romantic comedies would have liked. Instead, they made half of a great movie and half of an awful movie and bred them into a strange mutant.* Like one of those weird hairless cats.

* SEE ALSO: Lord of the Rings II and III. B and I always skip the Golem parts, because his voice is so annoying.
* SEE ALSO: B reminded me that the Julie and Julia conundrum is precisely the same as that of Big Fish - the fantasty sequences with Ewan McGregor are great, but the real life sequences with Generic Actor McGee are as boring as death itself.

P.S. Amy Adams, who played Julie Powell, looks like a little boy.


theNerdPatrol said...

I recently saw this myself. I wish someone would have been inspired by Julia Childs to do a movie about her, but unfortunately, this movie was spawned from the book written by the real life Julie who actually did that blog.

Thank god they put any Julia in it at all or it would have been completely unwatchable. I wonder how IRL Julie feels about her portrayal as a selfish crazy person.

Elizabeth said...

My favorite part was Julia with the onions at the Cordon Bleu. Meryl Streep IS magnificient (and I'm not a fan, normally), but even her parts were edited strangely at times, almost sloppy. I think the director and editor might have been smoking crack during half of the production. Streep and Tucci took the show, thank God.