Julie & Julia (2009)


Julie & Julia is a serviceable film that attempts to bring the world of the Internet to the big screen, in a way. Blogging as a subject matter is fairly bland, and unsurprisingly, it doesn’t translate particularly well. The cast makes it work mostly, though it seems rather aimless, often working with rather simple changes in superficial behavior, as opposed to conveying strong emotional and internal changes as a means of propelling the action.

Though Adams is still likeable, the character she portrays is frustrating, and the script offers very little insight into her struggle as a “modern” adult struggling to survive. It paints the portrait of a woman who had all the potential in the world, and seems to have failed miserably to live up to it, only to have Julia Child “save” her by giving her a goal to reach and achieve. It’s motivating in a way, sweet I suppose… but without ever really enhencing or exploring the circomstances, it feels somewhat empty, and her characterization bland and grating.

The Julia Child segment is more interesting, if only because she is a more vibrant personality. The segment and story itself is not presented particularly well, it’s very conventional and would never really hold up on it’s own. Streep gives an expectantly great performance, and really evokes both the manneurisms and the passion of Child. It’s really her work that holds up the entire film.

The line drawn between the storylines is quasi similar circomstances and similar archs. Thematic match-cuts are used most often to tie the two together, and they’re a bit wishy-washy, for lack of a better term. It never feels obnoxious, but is never quite seamless either. The film unfortunately falls apart simply because the premise itself doesn’t seem strong enough to sustain a feature length film, especially not one as long as this (2 hours is long for a film of this nature). Overall, I found it to be a moderately entertaining diversion, and it made me want to eat and cook delicious food.

3 responses to “Julie & Julia (2009)

  1. I’m actually toying with going to see this, just for the middlebrow exultation of the ‘food porn’ and a jaunty Meryl Streep performance (I’ve thought her menopausal years a little ackward on screen, but now she could start to make one hell of a senior actress?) –plus I have my very slight pretenses to cookery, mostly in terms of wanting to snag The Great Book of French Cuisine for my library someday?

  2. Perhaps embarrassingly I knew nothing about Julia Child until my mom told me about this movie. Turns out she’s one of her heroes, my mom said that before her book came out everyone just cooked out of cans and afterwards people (North American people (women)) actually learned how to cook. So that’s cool. Not gonna see the movie though.

  3. exileinarden: I’ve thought about picking up the famous cookbook, but I’m a vegeterian! And as far as I can tell, it’s not friendly to my kind… unofruntately, I love a good cook book.

    DG: That is embarassing… well, you pretty much know what half the movie is about, it’s pretty much a big lead up to the fact that she publishes this cook book that changes the way Americans cook forever.

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