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Julie & Julia

January 9, 2010

I just watched Julie and Juila, and it was wonderful.

My husband went to work (he works the evening shift) and I sat down in my living room with a basket full of back-filing and what I’ve been told by many is a great movie. I had wanted to see it in theatres (what don’t I want to see in theatres though, really?), but Ben didn’t want to go because one reviewer — probably Peter Travers of Rolling Stone because that’s the only reviews I’m ever really exposed to — said that, while Meryl Strep‘s performance as Julia Child was marvelous, he was less thrilled with the storyline of Julie. We were a little strapped for cash that month, so I shrugged and said, “Eh, I’ll see it when it comes out on video,” and that was that.

So I’m sitting on my living room floor with my box of filing… I will often try to multi-task when watching TV or movies, in an effort to pretend I’m being productive. One of two things usually happens:

1) The movie isn’t great and I end up concentrating more on the task at hand;

2) The movie is amazing and I end up just watching it and not getting anything else done.

This movie definitely fell into the latter category. 😀 It doesn’t help, of course, that filing is something that I don’t like doing under the best of circumstances, and what I really need to do is rework my filing system so it’s “fun and easy” (at least according to the guy who wrote Getting Things Done).

In any case, I got just far enough in the filing project that the living room floor looks like a disaster area, and since it’s 1 am, I am disinclined to pick it up, right at the moment. But the movie was lovely. Meryl Strep did an absolutely brilliant job as Julia Child, and Stanley Tucci was fantastic, as always. They were also wonderful in The Devil Wears Prada, which I highly recommend, but Meryl Strep’s character is a little less… loveable in that movie. She’s certainly very lovable as Julia; you just want her to succeed.

I was also pleasantly surprised that Julia’s sister, Dorothy, was played by Jane Lynch, the actress from Role Models and the TV show Glee. It was fun to see her in a more serious role than those she usually plays. And at one point in the movie Julia and Dorothy have this delightful conversation about being tall women in the early half of the last century, which is just wonderful. Being a tall woman myself, I completely agree with the sentiment, “We never quite fit, so we never quite fit in!”

I will say that I don’t completely disagree with the reviewer who said that the Julie story-arch was somewhat less engaging that the Julia story-arch. I do, however, have a great amount of sympathy for the Julie character, because I am also trying to reconcile a sometimes negative job situation with the rest of my life. If you are not in a similar situation, I could understand that the trials Julie faces would be less interesting. But, as always, Amy Adams is a delightful actress; I’ve loved her since I saw her in Enchanted, which I also highly recommend.

The movie is wonderful because it will make you laugh, and it will make you cry. Well, it made me cry. Tears of happiness at the end. But, if my husband were here, he would tell you that I cry at most movies, sad or happy. Throughout the movie, Julia Child experiences everything with such joy and triumph, you cannot help but laugh and cheer with her. And Julie goes through such a great change as a person; it makes me smile just thinking about it.

And that’s the occasion for which I would recommend this movie: Any time you need a smile or a laugh. The only thing that was missing from my half-failed movie and filing project was a nice glass of red wine. And of course some of the delicious looking food they were cooking, but that’s neither here nor there.

Genre: sappy but awesome, sincere and heart-warming, culture, comedy, chick-flick

Go, watch it. It’s wonderful. Just trust me.

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