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Review – Movie – Julie & Julia

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2009 – Meryl Streep, Amy Adams

So, there aren’t really too many movies about cooking.  There’s probably others but the only other one I can think of off the top of my head is Ratatouille.  If you haven’t figured out yet based on the cooking them of this film and the title containing the name Julia, the movie is about Julia Child.

It’s also a movie about some woman named Julie Powell.

I say also because this film is essentially two movies in one spliced together in 10 minute segments.  This is possibly the movie’s biggest drawback.  The plot of the film, in the sense of, the half of the movie involving conflict and resolution, involves Julie Powell, a frustrated working woman who decides to relieve her stress by challenging herself to cook all 500 or so recipes in Julia Child’s cook book, The Joy of Cooking in a 365 day time frame.  Julie also blogs about her activities and gains a bit of attention over it.  Interlaced within this plot is a bio pic about how Julia Childs got started in her cooking career.  There are a few vague parallels involved with some of the events in Julia’s life and the troubles Julie goes through on her endeavors to help tie the two stories together.

The movie in general falls mostly into the “charming cute comedy” bracket.  As I watched I kept wondering when it would turn into some sort of romantic comedy but there’s not much element to that particular genre involved here.  Both Julie and Julia’s spouses are involved in the plot of each respective story but mostly in a supporting role.  As such, there are a few laughs and if you’re interested in the life of Julia Child it’s certainly an interesting story to watch.

The real issue I have is that there’s very little to the plot.  Part of what makes a good story is some sort of… something…. happening.  Julia goes to cooking school and edits a cookbook, Julia writes her blog and cooks her food.  There’s some vague issues that pop up but they are all quickly resolved.  Also, most disappointing, the expected ultimate culmination of events, that is, Julie meets Julia, never occurs. 

Now, I suppose it’s somewhat forgivable, I suppose that’s the limitation you get when you base a story on real life events.  It just helped to seal the film’s ultimate empty feeling.  Basically, it’s not necessarily a boring, there just isn’t much that happens that isn’t expected.