When I first saw the poster for Julie & Julia, I literally went ‘meh’. A drama with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams as the two leads? I enjoyed Doubt (which they starred in together in 2008) but this so didn’t look like my type of movie.
However, I later found out that the film was about food. And that it was based on not one, but two intertwining true stories. And most of all, the book upon which the film was based arose out of a blog! That was when the aspiring writer inside convinced me I had to watch it.
I don’t like to spoil the plot, but in this case it helps to provide a bit of background. Julia Child (Meryl Streep) is a famous American chef and author (pardon my ignorance), and Julie Powell (Amy Adams) is an average woman who attempts to cook every recipe in her cookbook in a year while chronicling her experiences in a blog. The movie somehow manages to switch seamlessly between the two women – Julia in the 1950s as she learns to cook and piece together her cookbook, and Julie in 2002 she develops her blog project into a web sensation.
So how was it?
Written and directed by Nora Ephron (who last worked on Bewitched in 2005, but also did Sleepless in Seattle), Julie & Julia is very much a relationship drama that seeks to appeal to a predominantly female audience. The main male characters, Julie and Julia’s husbands (played by Chris Messina and Stanley Tucci, respectively), are portrayed as virtual saints who are completely devoted to their wives. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it made me wish there was more tension in their lives than just burnt stews in the oven.
To be frank, it still wasn’t my type of movie. The stories of the two women were somewhat interesting. The food appeared to be absolutely divine. The performances were superb (as you would expect from Streep and Adams). Some bits were quite humorous. And yet, it didn’t do a whole lot for me. It’s not that it was bland. It’s just that I wasn’t as absorbed as I thought I would be. Maybe it’s just me.
On the other hand, the inspiring climb to success of both women was pretty cool. There’s just something about watching other writers ‘make it’ that gets me all excited.
So to sum it all up, a good movie, but not really for me.
3 stars out of 5!