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."