Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Julie and Julia

I don't know why I never got around to seeing Julie and Julia in the theater. I love to cook, I love Julia Child, and I love Meryl Streep. Weird.

Julie and Julia was so, so, SO much better than I expected (I would also say the same for It's Complicated, which my mother dragged me to even though I wanted to see Sherlock Holmes, and I actually took out scrap paper and a pen to make notes about it's awfulness, but ended up putting them back in my bag twenty minutes in since it ended up being entertaining and not at all stupid. And what is the common denominator between the two films? STREEP).

Amy Adams is effervescent as Julie Powell, a late-twentysomething looking for a change in her life. She's temping at a horribly depressing job and languishing over the fact that her manuscript wasn't picked up. With brainstorming help from her husband, she decides to tackle Julia Child's first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. There are trials and tribulations and everything does not go perfectly, because when does it?

But there is no denying that this film belongs to the fabulous, incomparable Meryl Streep. She embodied the role of Julia Child, and brought her voice, her mannerisms, and her love for life to the screen. Streep really is the very best actress of our time, and every time she graced the screen, you couldn't help but smile.

The film follows each woman as each tries to carve her own path, and the ways in which the paths run parallel is a sweet underlying theme. On the same note, the relationships that the women had with their husbands were also touching - these men were supportive and loving and (almost) always optimistic. More than anything, they believed in the best of their wives.

And, of course, I am now reading Julie's original blog, started in 2002 when blogs were mere toddlers. She's a great writer and I love that she was able to succeed so dramatically with a blog of all things! I'm also revisiting my love of cooking. I'm never going to be a trained chef, and I'm never going to be able to make half of the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I can't eat cheese, and Mike likes what he likes. But I love to cook. I love knowing what foods compliment each other, and I love knowing how to describe the taste of cumin (smoky, I'd say). I love that I am open to trying new things (venison the other weekend!), and I love the feeling I get in kitchen supply stores.

Pure euphoria.

But I have decided - from this point on - that I will make more meals at home and eat less prepared food. I love to cook, and I'm lucky enough to have tons of great fresh food markets nearby so that even as the snow is falling, I can have the best of what the area has to offer.

Bon Appetit!

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