November 13, 2009

Julie & Julia (and Julia)

I'm watching Julie & Julia right now. I know, I'm a little late to the craze, but I have been from the start. I only picked up Julie Powell's book this christmas, and at the point the movie was already underway. I had, coincidentally, just finished "My Life in France," by Julia Child, before randomly picking up Julia&Julia at the Harvard Bookstore without even knowing what it was about. I admit it. I totally judged that book by its cover. The teal background and the angry little egg whisk did me in. But can you blame me? Look how cute!

I loved the books - both of them actually. Julie Powell is funny and real. And I of course, love Julia Child - she is my namesake, after all. She's endearing, has character, and was a culinary genius. The movie was a match made in heaven. And I was especially thrilled to hear about it because it combined two books I had recently read and loved. But then I started hearing all about how Meryl Streep was taking over the show, and reviews saying that Julie Powell was the weak character, and the movie should have been all about Julia. And I started thinking that yeah, Julia Child definitely deserved her own movie, but not at the cost of edging out Julie Powell, who also did an amazing thing, and, let's face it, was the whole reason this movie ever got thought up. Maybe she deserved her own movie. But then again, interspersing little bits and pieces of Julia Child's life into Julie Powell's story is a nice touch too. But then we're back at square one.

Man, it's exhausting being in my head!

So I said, to hell with it! Watch the damn movie. I really wanted to see it at the cinema, but no one here will see it in original language with me, and like hell I'm watching it in Italian, so I'm streaming it online (anyone wanna join me? click here. But shhhhh, don't tell anyone!) I'm only 45 minutes into it (blogging and watching a movie? I must have some kind of ADD) but I already love it. Nora Ephron managed to find the perfect balance between the two women's  lives.

It's full of great food - sole meuniere, poached eggs, lobster; great actors - Meryle Streep, Stanley Tucci, Amy Adams; full of great feelings - warmth, love, happiness, success. But as I watch it (and this happened when I read the book too) I start to get this strange feeling that isn't featured in the story. It's sort of uncomfortable, I'm not familiar with it, I don't really like it.... i's jealousy!

Yes! I'm jealous! Why didn't I think of this first? I was practically raised on Julia Child. Hello, I'm named after her. It would have been called Julia&Julia, more symmetrical, don't you think? And we both lived in Cambridge for like my whole life. And I love cooking. And blogging. And I totally would have thought of it if stupid Julie Powell hadn't first. Ok, that was mean. She's not stupid. She had a great idea, and she went with it, and good for her. She went from a crappy apartment in Queens to having an internationally famous blog, book and movie. And she's adorable. Plus I was only 17 in 2002. What, was I going to make my mother finance my Julia Child extravaganza and finish off the experiment in my college dorm room on a hot plate? Probably not. So I really can't blame her for thinking of it first. But I'm still a little jealous. Not of the blog and the book and the movie and the success (although that would have been pretty awesome), but because now it's been done and the novelty is gone. I'll never be able to try to cook through the entire Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year without copying her. I could do it with The Way to Cook, but it wouldn't be the same.

Well, enough of my senseless ramblings. Plus, I have a movie to finish. But still. Today, when I was cooking dinner with my roommate, I though about how life is just a series of missed or made connections. This was my missed Julia connection. C'est la vie!

Bon appetit!

 p.s. The movie was tres cute. I highly recommend it to the five of you out there who haven't seen it yet.


amy said...

I haven't seen the movie yet. Honestly, it looked kind of boring to me but it's gotten great reviews and I hear everyone talking about it...I guess I'm just going to have to see it for myself!!

Margarita said...

I haven't seen it yet either, but I'm definitely looking forward to it :)