Friday, August 14, 2009

review of Julie & Julia

Last night Jonathan took me to see the movie Julie & Julia. (Thanks to our favorite babysitter, we had a real date night and even got to go out to dinner before the movie! That was really fun!) I wasn't sure what to expect from the movie, initially. I don't really enjoy reading movie reviews until after I've seen a movie. I hadn't read any books about Julia Child and confess I've never seen one of her cooking shows. The closest I've ever come to experiencing Mrs. Childs is through Bill Cosby's imitations of her (which are quite funny - you can watch the 1 1/2 min. clip of Cosby's impression here). That was the extent of my knowledge about Julia going in.

I had heard of the book Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen as it was making the rounds earlier. I picked up a copy of it once and flipped through it to get a feel for it and kept running into foul language issues and so I never read it. All that to say, I was the ignorant movie go-er last night.

To say I liked the movie is an understatement. As Jonathan said as we were walking out of the theatre, it appeared as if those making the movies were just having fun. Meryl Streep's portrayal of Julia Child made the whole audience laugh out loud numerous times. In fact, I never remember hearing an audience so engaged with the movie they were watching. I've seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the theatre, Narnia, Inkheart and Star Wars (the first three episodes) all touted as having received audible exclamations of delight from the viewers. I have never experienced any of this. However, last night people were roaring with laughter and just genuinely enjoying their evening, learning about how Julia Childs learned to cook French food and then turned around and shared her knowledge with others. Who would have thought food could be so funny? Or relaxing?

The movie is two hours long and while I typically find myself becoming antsy if I have to sit still for more than an hour, I did not tire of watching Meryl Streep's performance. It was grand fun! The disclaimers to the fun: there were a few foul words scattered about (3 or 4, I think) and two "too close for comfort" sexual scenes involved. Both were brief and thankfully left more to the imagination than anything else. That said, I think that the movie would have been over the top stellar had they not left anything to the imagination AT ALL by excluding those scenes all together. They were highly unnecessary to the story.

The top reasons I enjoyed this movie were:

1. It showed off an amazing marriage between Julia and her husband, Paul Childs. He was supportive, kind, funny, supportive, loving and supportive. He knew where her strengths were and he encouraged her in them.

2. Julia's deprecating humor. SO funny to have Julia Childs making fun of herself.

3. Julie, the woman who wants to learn how to cook like Julia and BE like Julia learns the value and importance of putting her marriage relationship ahead of her blogging goal. (Hmmm?)

4. Marriage. It really gave a good display of warm, friendly, funny marriages that had their problems alright but mostly showed of the strengths and stick-to-itveness that is so lacking in marriages that we see today.

Lovely movie, lovely woman. Jennifer recently watched this movie and wrote (another positive!) review of it over at 5 Minutes for Books. She also recommended that I pick up a copy of My Life in France and I think I shall take up her recommendation and do that. I'd love to know more about this altogether charming and fascinating woman.

In the meantime, I've been satisfying myself with a few YouTube clips today of the REAL Julia Childs. Here's a quick one for your viewing pleasure:

Here's another video but you'll have to CLICK HERE to see it or cut and paste this into your browser: (Youtube disabled the feed.)

(It's Julia Child talking about roasting chickens. Hilarious!)

Until next time,

Have a Happy Weekend!


Stacy said...

I think we must be kindred spirits. I loved this movie but also thought the bad language and intimate scenes were completely unnecessary (especially with my thirteen year old sitting next to me). The movie is so charming and these two factors would bring me out of that charmed world into the critical one until I could get back into the story. I think you made a good choice in not reading Julie and Julia. I am in the middle of it and if it weren't for the fact that I am reading it for a challenge, I would have stopped after the first chapter:(

Stephanie said...

That video was a hoot! I'm glad to hear you liked the movie. (For some reason I think we have similar tastes??) :) I had heard the book had a lot of language so I'm glad to hear that it would be a good date night movie to add to my Netflix queue! :)

Rachelle said...

I actually appreciated that for once the sex scenes (which were very tame and didn't involve more than Amy Adams bra from the back) were all between married couples. To me it only added to the beauty of the marriages portrayed that Julia Childs was not Hollywood-pretty, too tall, overweight and yet she and her husband took lunch breaks for sex. (Throw in that the movie mentions she was a virgin when she married at almost 40 and I loved it all even more.)
Meanwhile, part of what Amy Adams had to learn about putting her husband first involved sex.
I thought this was the movie of the year by far. And again, Meryl deserves the Oscar for capturing Julia so well. And for once, a movie that doesn't make men look like emotionally-backward buffoons.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

This sounds fabulous! I want to see it (caveats notwithstanding).

Unknown said...

So did Jonathan like it too? Someone asked me if it was a "chick flick," but I think that Terry would have seen it with me (if we could have gotten a babysitter).

And even though I do not like gratuitous or explicit sex, I think that at least in Julia and Paul's case, it showed their relationship (for those who haven't seen it -- she caressed his bare chest and then they shared a passionate kiss). How many times do you see those kind of characters in a married love affair? Never.

I agree, the other was unnecessary, and just as Book Psmith said, I think it's that scene (as well as Julia/Paul's one phrase he wrote in a letter) that makes it not good for kids. Otherwise, it would be a great movie for young tweens and teens to see.

Oh and I just noticed Rachelle agreed with me about the sex scenes.

Lisa Spence said...

Have I mentioned I want to see this movie? Yes, I do!

Carrie said...

Yes, Jonathan liked it too. He thought it was fun!

Sadly, I think that we're so accustomed to seeing sex scenes in movies that we're gratefully relieved when we see (mini, introductory) scenes between married couples. We sit back and breathe a sigh of relief that they are happening between "the right people."

I would have to say that we're accepting too much still. The scenes really were NOT necessary to telling the story. I TOTALLY got the fact that that Julia and Paul were *very* much in love and I didn't need to see them in the bedroom. (It was the lunch scenes that Rachelle talked about that bothered me the most.)

I think that sex is a holy, sacred and private thing between a husband and a wife and doesn't need to be visibly shared with others to prove that it's happening. I'll just take your word for it, thanks.

No, I don't think it is necessary to show on screen at all. Like I said, the point was well-made without the scenes (which have been described by Rachelle and Jennifer) and I'm sorry that they were included because it rather does call for disclaimers and careful consideration, regardless how of "little" was shown. I still think too MUCH was shown.

Still, as I said, I thought it was a marvelous movie. It promoted the right things for which I am very grateful and I had a wonderful evening enjoying the story.

BTW, I really don't mean for this to errupt in debate. I thought the movie was good. I thought it was fabulous! I don't agree that we should be visualizing other people's sex lives. I don't think that is beneficial at all. It takes away from the movie more than it adds to it and primarily - I do not feel it was remotely necessary to prove the point that the married couples were in love with one another. THey were and that was obvious without showing me the inner workings of their bedroom.

Oh and btw, I don't really want to know about the inner workings of any of your bedrooms either. If you are tempted to start being "shocking" please refrain. Out of respect for my blog and my person, please be discreet. I just really don't want to and/or need to know.

Cacey said...

Thanks for the great review! Now I can't wait to go see it!

Sky said...

I AM SOOOOOO JEALOUS! I am waiting to put that on my netflix. we do not have a baby sitter!
I enjoy Julia Child's show, it is quite hilarious in it's own right and I did not think they could cast any better then Meryl Streep!

So glad you had a good laugh!


Sky said...

Better casting then Erin Brockovich! Which is not saying much but I had to say it.

Lisa Stone said...

I love both actresses, can't wait to see the movie.

Unknown said...

Yeah, I was thinking that you were (with help from us commenters!) going to unintentionially spark another debate post -- LOL.

And you're right. It's never absolutely necessary, but I did think that this was not gratuitous -- just for thrills.

Carrie said...

Jennifer- Agreed! It wasn't gratuitous. It was a ratings appeal.


Janice Phillips said...

Yay! So glad you liked this movie. You're the third person I'd actually take your feedback from at face value and do anything because of it. Interesting convo/debate re: appropriateness in film...totally on the same page: LESS IS MORE!

Anonymous said...

I agree. The movie was lovely and a great time at the theatre. When i went to see it, the theatre was more crowded than I expected and everyone was laughing and enjoying the movie. I don't think anyone left feeling disappointed.

I read the book almost immediately after watching the movie and I loved it. I thought that Julie was a likeable down to earth person and I loved watching her change as she cooked.

I think overall, it's just a good story. Julia Child was an amazing woman who shared her love of cooking and overall love of life with the world. I think it's wonderful that this story is getting people who loved her to remember her and people who didn't really know about her to discover her!

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