Everyone is asking if I’m going to see the new movie Julie & Julia… probably for a few reasons, some of which are that for one thing, I cook, and for another because those that know me well know that she was an inspiration to me before I knew what an inspiration was (or why). Even before I knew that I loved to cook. I spent my weekends on the couch with Julia and most of the time, wasn’t even sure what I was watching, I just knew that watching her on TV felt like home.
Thing is, in the hands of Hollywood and Nora Ephron, I can’t imagine this movie can capture her zest without making her smile too much or making her downright silly. The magic of Julia was in her dryness and realism. She had such confidence in not knowing everything and I’m not sure you can capture that with movie blocking. Not to mention the wig they put on poor Amy Adams makes me cringe.
If this movie is a success, I’ll have to ask myself why. An entire nation loves Julia Child or cares about the struggles of an unhappy-in-life average American girl? Doubtful. Maybe I take the whole cooking bit too seriously, I guess that would stand to reason considering the success of the Food Network and a serious cook’s disdain for it. I feel like ultimately it will be fluff. Heart for Julia maybe, but heart for the act of cooking? The passionate love of food in this society of take out and frozen meals with 67 ingredients? I don’t know. Obviously I’m going to have to watch it to fully form an opinion, but it may be best for all if I see it in the privacy of my own home so I can roll my eyes, snort and make faces without disturbing my fellow movie goers. Presuming I would.
I mean, how can Hollywood ever hope to capture the essence of such an incredible, unique force of nature like Julia Child? She seems the antithesis of all that Hollywood is. Am I way off, here? Am I taking it too seriously? Probably. I hope that people who go see this movie and who are touched by whatever essence they are able to deliver, will run out and pick up her books and tackle cooking with no fear and a sense of humor. After all, there are no editors, producers or second takes in your kitchen. And I think Julia liked it that way.