Plot synopsis (from the studio): A culinary legend provides a frustrated office worker with a new recipe for life in Julie & Julia, the true stories of how Julia Child’s (Meryl Streep) life and cookbook inspired fledgling writer Julie Powell (Amy Adams) to whip up 524 recipes in 365 days.
Warning: Spoilers below!
- Both Amy Adams and Meryl Streep were perfect in their respective roles. Obviously, you’d expect this kind of wonderful performance from Streep, but Adams has been kind of hit or miss for me. She was on her game in this one, though.
- Having read the book, I thought the film adaptation was much better. The screenplay left out a lot of unnecessary scenes that were in the book (thank god the part about Julie’s kitchen being overrun by nasty bugs didn’t make it to the screen), which made for a tighter, more cohesive story.
- I said a similar thing when reviewing the book, but I think it bears repeating here: I appreciated Julie’s response when she heard the devastating news of Julia’s reaction to her blog. If my idol made such negative comments about me, I probably would have trashed her right back. But the real Julie Powell was gracious and continued to admire Julia Child (albeit the Julia “in her head”).
- I didn’t like the way Julie treated cooking as a chore to be gotten through rather than an endeavor to be savored. The contrast between her approach to cooking and Julia Child’s approach was made quite clear in this film. Perhaps this is one of the reasons Child felt so negative towards Julie’s blog.
- Julie’s husband annoyed me to no end. First of all, he was a total slob who lacked even basic table manners. It was just gross to have to watch (and listen) to him eat all those meals. Second, he brought NOTHING to the story. He was just there, taking up space and screen time.
I thought Julie & Julia was a mostly charming film that provided just enough entertainment value to cover the fact that the “plot” lacked any true substance. And you don’t even have to be a foodie to enjoy this one; the performances of Streep and Adams are enough of a reason to watch. I give this movie 3 stars out of 5.