Sunday, August 9, 2009

Julie and Julia a movie review

I was going to write about craft and tension today but then I went to see the movie Julie and Julia yesterday. And I thought it was time for a good review.

Meryl Streep is a fabulous (but we knew that) as Julia Child. Stanley Tucci is wonderful as her husband. Amy Adams plays an ordinary woman turning 30 wondering why her life isn't what she dreamed...The film is warm and funny. The theater was filled with laughter and at the end- applause. You don't get a lot of that these days in movie theaters.

For me, it made me laugh-in a good way- at the dream of being published and how the journey unfolds. It made me cry, at the part where Julia's cook book is ultimately rejected. She tells her husband..."eight years of my life and they hate it...eight years...(I know this feeling) Oh well, poor me. It started off as something to do... I guess that's all it was."
I feel this way every darn time I get a rejection letter...sadness...why? Because of the scene before that...the scene where after 8 years of work she is boxing up the revised book to send to the publisher...and says "this is the best time. The time when all things are possible...when you can imagine that they will love it and the book will sell millions of copies..."
The work, the blood, the sweat the tears...the time away from family...the hope when they want to read a partial... the dream when you send in the full... the incredible waste when they reject the book...(for her and lately for me "rejected for economic reasons.") The pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try a new publisher... another revision... a new story type, and of course she was ultimately published. This is what it's like to be a writer.
Oh- then...the food in the movie! :) It made me realize that no one eats like that anymore. We're preprocessed, low cholesterol, low fat, lucky if we get a flavorless grilled chicken breast with our nasty over steamed frozen convenience veggies. Why? So we can live longer? Julia was in her 90's when she died. Be skinnier? People are more obese today than ever with our fake sugar, fake eggs, fake butters... (But then again who can afford to be a lobster killer or eat fresh duck? I know my kids grew up on "American Boiled Dinner" - hot dogs, frozen veggies and buttered egg noodles. It's what we could afford.) Still would it be so bad to eat one good, fresh home cooked meal a month?
To me, this movie showed two things:
1) The writer's journey-and no most don't have the story book Hollywood ending of bestseller and movie rights...sigh.
2)We've forgotten how to live...cook fresh real food, dress up in real fibers, set a table with napkins, table cloth and china, enjoy dinner with family and friends.
So, see the movie if you can, it's big fun. But more importantly-create a life with passion and romance, "a big mess on the floor..." and "never apologize... after all who's to know if you mess it up."



Marty said...

I went to see this movie late last night with my beautiful wife. Meryl Streep was wonderful as Julia Childs and Amy Adams is always so dang cute.

But to me it was the writer/director Nora Ephron that was the true star. Her screenplay was brilliant and truly illustrated the worth of a GREAT writer.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Marty, I completely agree!

Jessica said...

At first I didn't know who Julia Child is, but now I do. :-) Sounds like a really good movie.
I wish I knew how to make "real" food. I made a homemade cherry pie and was amazed at how easy it was to make a crust. Just shortening and flour and something else. LOL Can't remember. But the point is, I thought it would be hard, and it wasn't, and then I wondered-- Why do we have frozen ones if it's this easy?

I hate fake sugared stuff. Give me real sugar. LOL

Morgan Mandel said...

I'm really good at the eating part and also making messes. Sounds like my kind of movie.

Morgan Mandel

~Sia McKye~ said...

I haven't seen it yet. I do like Meryl Strep though and I can see where she would do justice to Julia.

I can't eat processed food so most of my meals are homecooked from scratch. Cooking is an art, just like writing, painting, singing. It touches on the creative side of you. Not that I cook quite like Julia Child, lol, but it's good.

Of late, I've been cooking for 5, with my sister and her guy, and one of the contractors who is a personal friend. My 14 year old son is due home today, after spending the last two months with my sister's daughter and husband. So, I'll now be cooking for 6, sheesh.

Good point though. Rejections are hard to take. I look at it this way, if this is what you want to do, then you can't let them keep you from 'dusting' yourself off and continuing to submit. You don't submity? Then the answer is automatically a no, isn't it? Keep submitting and you'll stand a better chance of getting a yes.

Marilyn Brant said...

I got a copy of the book as an ARC several years ago and was thrilled when I found out they'd made it a movie! Thanks for your wonderful review and, even more, for your reminder to live with greater zest and passion :).

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi All-

Jessica, you are no different than most busy people.I showed a friend once how to make frosting and she couldn't believe how easy it was and wondered why she bought pre-made.

Hi Morgan, I like messes, too- ;)

Hi Sia, I went gluten-free (No wheat, malt, barley)last year and so I have to do my own cooking now. I don't miss it at all.

Hi Marilyn, I've never read the book. I think I'll go look for it this week!

Thanks for stopping by, everyone!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

This is the second review about this movie I've read on blogs today. I want to go see it NOW. I like movies that can make me laugh and I know I'll relate to the publishing side as well.

Ashley Ladd said...

I really enjoyed the movie. I'm going to see it again tomorrow night with my friends from work - dinner and then the movie. It's rare when I see a theater audience applaud. The last time I saw that was "Mama Mia" also with Meryl Streep.