Thursday, August 20, 2009

Julie and Julia

Last night Susie and I went to a theater to see Julie and Julia, a delightfully original story involving cooking, writing, blogging and relationships, starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and a lot of wonderful foods. We were celebrating our 30th anniversary (yes, such things are possible these days) and so we began, appropriately, with dinner. We’d intended Italian but ended up with Mexican, sharing a delicious bowl of molcaheta. I also had a relleno a la carte. Yum.

Julie and Julia is a refreshing alternative to testosterone laden heavy-SFX schlock featuring aliens, explosions, and other characterless Hollywood fare. Director Nora Ephron assembled a film with original characters you enjoy being with. And food, gloriously appetizing, rich and tasty.

Amy Adams is Julie, a woman who decides to start a blog in which she intends to make over 500 recipes in 365 days, from the groundbreaking cookbook that put Julia Child on the cultural map. Julie’s story is woven back and forth with Julia Child’s story, and Streep is just plain fun throughout. The film is a great summer escape, or winter retreat if you wait for the DVD.

Writers might enjoy the challenges writers face in striving for publication. Child’s French cooking cookbook took eight years to produce (this was back when carbon paper was an essential) and not easily sold to the U.S. market. Authors will also recognize the challenges involved in collaborations, in renegotiated agreements with friends and co-authors as well when one is not pulling his or her weight.

The film is also a great insight into the world of a committed blogger. “Is anybody out there reading this schlock?” Julie wonders more than once. Yet she remains committed to her task, never compromises her commitment to high standards and is ultimately rewarded for seeing it through.

Even though both are true stories, one can come away with the impression that a year of blogging will land you in the New York Times resulting in a boatload of editors and agents seeking to get you signed.

Lucky Julie got her dream… the opportunity to write and get published, and to escape living above a pizza place in the Queens. Her husband comes across as a good guy, and maybe, just maybe she will end up on her 30th anniversary going to dinner and a movie based on a story by this here blogger, yours truly. Wouldn’t that be an interesting twist.

Good luck Julie in the rest of your endeavors.

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