Julie & Julia (2009) Film

Julie & Julia Film Review

She lives in an apartment that she doesn’t love, which has a kitchen that she hates, with her boyfriend and her cat while she blogs about her love of cooking….. yup, that’s my life!

Julie & Julia (2009), done by the talented late Nora Ephron,  is what officially started not only my love for cooking, but blogging.  It holds a very dear spot in my heart.  Plus, who can ever get enough of Meryl Streep?

 I remember watching this several times and then one day, I brought it to my Mom so she could watch it with me.  It was right after this, that for my next birthday, my parents not only printed out Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe, but also gave me my first piece of Lagostina Cookware.  It was my first Casserole Dish (thank you Mom and Dad), which to this day, makes me feel just a bit more like Julia Child every time I cook… without the pearls.  I will never, ever, get rid of this casserole dish and I can’t wait to have a day to make the Bourguignon with my Mom.

After watching that clip how can Julia Child not be one of your idols?

I watch Julie & Julia far more often than I should – 3 times in one night last week- and it is now playing again.  Why do I love it so much?  Here are a few quotes, scenes and more that I can relate to or that make me fall in love each time I watch it.

365 Days, 524 Recipes

As a blogger who loves to cook and share recipes, nothing is more relate-able than when Julie says “I feel like I’m sending things into this giant void.”

Sometimes I type this, and just like in the film, the one person who ends up commenting is my Mother.  There is nothing wrong with that, of course, (I love you Mom!) but while bloggers first and foremost blog because they love to do it- not for a following- it’s nice to know that people other than your family and friends enjoy what you’re doing.  But hey, I’m thankful for those who do read my posts- so thank you to everyone who continues to support me.  It means a lot.  Honestly, every time I see that I have a new follower, a new comment, a new share or a new “like”- my heart gets warm.  Especially if you’re Gordon Ramsay (I still can’t believe that happened).

Hat Making Lessons- “You like Hats…”, Bridge Lessons- “You like Bridge….”   “But what do you LOVE to do?  Eat.  I love to eat.”

I think this is something we can all relate to.  There are simply times when you just don’t know what to do with yourself.  Whether it concerns your career path, your schooling, where you decide to live- sometimes life just makes you feel like you have absolutely no real idea of what you’re doing or where your life is going.  It’s horrible.  However, this film made me realize that all you can do is try.  Try new things, go to new places, experiment- it can’t hurt.  I started writing this blog, not believing that anything would come from it.  I was so wrong.  I have met amazing people and it has saved me in many ways.  The scene in which Julie gets her first parcel of hot sauce from one of her readers gave me hope.  You never know who is reading what you’re writing, maybe someone out there finds what you are offering as inspiring, or thinks it is worth taking note of.  If there is anyone nice enough who reads what I write and want to help me out, please contact me at joannathemontrealer@gmail.com  (a girl can dream)!  Has Paypal actually helped any bloggers out there?  Does that actually work?

“I feel like my entire life has been a waste… I just don’t know what it was all for”.  I feel this way and I’m only 25- I don’t want to be double the age that I am now and still feel this way.  Mmm.. quarter of a century life crisis, maybe?

“You can never have too much butter.” 

(That is just self explanatory- I absolutely love butter).

“Yesterday, I poached an egg.”

Now, this is something I have always been scared to do.  While unlike Julie Powell, I have eaten eggs numerous times, I have never poached an egg, nor have I eaten one (except for the one time I had Eggs Benedict).  I have watched Gordon Ramsay do it enough times, I shouldn’t be scared anymore.  I even had a dream about having 4 different eggs cooking on my stove-top… I think it is a sign.  I will also make them using Julia Child’s method.  We will see which one turns out better!  If I’m making poached eggs, I may as well make eggs benedict, right?  Stay tuned to see how that adventure turns out (I haven’t made a Hollondaise sauce yet either, so this recipe should be fun.  What are your tips for making the perfect poached egg?  Any helpful suggestions?  Please comment!

Foolproof Mayonnaise

I absolutely hate Mayonnaise.  If I smell it, I will run away.  I have started to warm up to it just a little bit now and I can handle it in sandwiches as long as I can’t see or smell it.  However, I will have to try the Foolproof Mayonnaise that is mentioned.  Until then, here is an amazing post I found via Bite from the Past.  She wrote “Homemade mayonnaise is SO. MUCH. BETTER. than store-bought mayo. I can hardly believe I waited this long to make it. I’m not a huge mayo fan, but I find I am using it more now that I have my little plastic container of homemade bliss. It’s rich and creamy and doesn’t taste like plastic.”  I definitely have to make it then!

“I used to be thin and now I’m getting.. Fat!” … Fat?

I am not saying I think I am overweight- I know numerous people would slap my ___ lb self if I ever said I thought I was fat.  However, I do see a difference in my midsection.  I am not happy about it, but I’ll work on it.  It’s my own fault really.  I mean, how am I supposed to want to go workout if I know I can cook something delicious instead?

Aspics….

No.  I will never make you.  Ever.  If anyone in the world enjoys Aspics anymore, even if they’re done to perfection, let me know and let me swallow my words and I suppose I will eventually have to make it.. but for now, nope, never.

Another Meltdown…

I can relate to several of the meltdowns Amy Adam’s character displays throughout the film.  To my real life version of her Eric, I apologize!  I understand that there are moments when I am not “under the Julia Child Influence”, so thank you for putting up with me during those times.  At least you get good food every once in awhile right?  Numerous people thought that Amy Adams did an awful job in the film.  I even found a site that has a link for the movie done without Amy Adams involved- it’s 50 minutes of everything Meryl Streep (here’s the link Julie & Julia without Amy Adams).  The last time I checked, the link stopped working though, if it’s still not fixed, I am sure there’s a YouTube video somewhere, sorry about that!

“Saa-altine..”  “Savvveee the Liver!”  Dan Akroyd, back when SNL was good… 

I miss the days when SNL was great and not just “sometimes okay” like it is now.  This is one of my Top Five SNL moments and I am so happy that the film had this scene.

The Film

When it comes to the actual film and what I thought of it (besides my obvious love for it), I did not hate Amy’s character or her skills as an actress.  I usually really analyze how actors and actresses do but this time, I just enjoyed watching the film without thinking too hard about it.  Meryl Streep, was of course amazing and I actually really enjoyed Eric’s role, which was played by Chris Messina (Devil, Argo).

I also, absolutely love Jane Lynch.  I don’t know what I would do without my older sister.  The love you can see between Lynch and Streep is so.. real, it’s hard not to feel lucky to have that in my life.

If I were to forget Stanley Tucci, I think I would be shunned by many movie fans.  I love him and I love the chemistry he has with Meryl Streep.  They had previously worked on The Devil Wears Prada together, and they are both electric in that too.  They both fit perfectly both together and apart for the roles of Julia Child and Paul Child.

One of my favorite scenes of the film is during their Valentine’s Dinner when the famous quote,”You are the butter to my bread, and the breath to my life” is said from Paul to Julia.  It makes me tear up every time.  We can only hope that we find someone who thinks of us that way; it’s so beautiful.

JJvalentine

jcv

A scene of the film (sorry if I’m spoiling anything!) that made me curious to see how “real to life” it was, is when Julie gets a call saying that Julia Child didn’t find her to be serious about her blog and her cooking venture.  I finally looked into this.  I found quite a few interesting articles, some of which I will leave for another post, but until then, if you were curious like I was, here is what I found:

“Julie/Julia” worked brilliantly, particularly when read in short bursts. Powell created a likable character (well, as I said, in short bursts), and the plot had a genuine sense of suspense — remember, it was being posted as it happened, so you really didn’t know whether she would finish or crash and burn. This was true both in the short term (could she succeed with a dish?) and the long (could she really keep her sanity through 524 recipes?).
Of course, I was also interested in what Julia may might think about it. So I printed out the whole thing and took it up to her. She hadn’t heard about it, but promised to have a look and get back to me.
I didn’t hear from her for several days, so eventually I called her up. “So Julia,” I asked, “what do you think?”
There was a silence as she gathered her thoughts. Then in that familiar reedy voice she nailed the answer: “Well,” she said, “she just doesn’t seem very serious, does she?
“I worked very hard on that book. I tested and retested those recipes for eight years so that everybody could cook them. And many, many people have. I don’t understand how she could have problems with them. She just must not be much of a cook.”
She asked me not to quote her, and after thinking it over, I didn’t, choosing a valued friendship over a couple of juicy paragraphs in a story. I’m still not sure it was the right call, but there you have it.
So that solves part of the mystery of Julia’s dis: professional pride.
This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knew her well. One of the marvelous things about Julia Child was that even with all of the honors she had earned, she still approached her work with the earnestness (and competitiveness) of a beginner.

-via LA Times, Russ Parsons

For the full article, you can read it here.

Overall, this film saved me because if I wasn’t cooking the way I am now, I don’t know where I would be.  Cooking has saved me.  I love the smell of garlic being on my hands for three days, no matter how often I wash them. I love cooking for people who appreciate food that isn’t frozen.  I love getting away from life as much as I can during a few minutes (or hours) of cooking… I just love it.  I am passionate about many things but having a passion like this feels so good.

I may not be a professional and I may not know exactly what I am doing but I can say that I try and learn with every recipe I do.  I think Julia would be proud of that. I found something that has truly brought me joy and that allows me to escape, even for a little while- the same way reading a book helps me.

To anyone who may read this, who is on their own “Julia” journey- don’t stop.  Keep cooking.  It doesn’t matter what people say or who may think you’re ridiculous.  If it makes you happy, how can you ever stop doing it?  Please share with me your own cooking experiences, good or bad.  I’m pretty sure I can relate!

Bon Appétit to all of you!

Want more Julia?  So did I- here is a great Tribute to her.

With that, I will say, “I love you, Julia”.

Thank you.

JC

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