Review: Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia | Nora Ephron, 2009

I love Meryl Streep. I even sat through Mamma Mia because she was in it. It was painful, but her performance made it worth the watch. So, I was really looking forward to watching this despite the fact that I was not familiar with Julia Child and I had no idea who Julia Powell was. Most of the reaction I heard was mixed, so I decided to wait until it came out on DVD. Finally I got the chance to watch it and I loved it.

Julie & Julia, as all the ads say, is based on two true stories. One is about Julia Child and her life in Paris and how she went about writing her first cook book and her struggle to get it published during the 1960s. The other story is about Julie Powell, a failed writer that feels she could do more with her life so she decides to write a blog about her cooking her way through Julia Child’s cook book in one year. Both stories are interwoven to show how similar both women were and how they discovered themselves.

This is one of those movies where although it has some big flaws, I still loved it due to it’s ability to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I just felt happy all the way throughout. Plus, since Waitress in 2007 no movie has made my mouth water so much. But that’s not the only reason why I love it.

First off, the script by Norah Ephron is rather good. A movie based on Powell’s “challenge” would not have been interesting enough for an entire movie. Also, a movie about Child’s life would have been way too annoying because although she had a great personality, it can get tiring after a while. The script does a nice job of highligting some of the most important parts in Child’s life in Paris and her struggle to write her book, as well as the most interesting part of Powell’s life. The fact that there was room to take on the women’s marriages and how they influenced them was a nice touch.

Also, Ephron’s work as a director is good. The movie never gets cheesy or over sentimental. There are only a few moments that feel awkward, but I blame Powell’s life. The quality of her work as a director also shows in the quality of the production. Alexandre Desplat’s score, the sets, the costumes, make-up, all great and perfectly aid in telling the story.

The thing that made me enjoy the movie the most were the performances though. Amy Adams does the best she can with the one-note character that Julie Powell is. Chris Messina is also very good as her husband. Stanley Tucci is amazing as Paul Child, Julia’s husband who loves her no matter what she does. They have amazing chemistry together. This brings me to Meryl Streep, who is simply amazing. She definitely deserves all the accolades she has been getting, and if she doesn’t win the Oscar, I’m going to break something.

Julie & Julia is one of my favorite movies of the year. It will not make it in my top 10 or anything, but I truly enjoyed it. If only there were more movies like this out there…

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