Light and heart-warming, Julie & Julia serves up comfort food for the soul that regrettably falls a little flat near the end, like an unfortunate chocolate soufflé. It’s still delicious though!
A Review by Penny V
Originally a food blog by Julie Powell that was reworked into a book, Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, the title that says it all was adapted and lovingly crafted by Nora Ephron. The other half of the movie, takes place on a parallel timeline featuring the ebullient and passionate cook that gave the world Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child.
And that’s pretty much all there is actually. Amy Adams as Julie Powell gives her character a little vivacious flavour, like chilli peppers steeped in chocolate. Lacking ambition and drive after failing to finish writing her novel that was rejected numerous times, she ends up fielding calls in a New York insurance office, post 9/11.
At the bottom of the career ladder while her friends hold glamorous positions, she finds solace in cooking and her love for the effervescent Julia Child. At the suggestion of her husband Eric (Chris Messina), she starts a web log with a firm project in mind: she will attempt to cook 524 recipes within a year in her tiny apartment above a pizzeria in the outer-boroughs of New York. Her only link to Julia Child? Her admiration for Child’s character and personality and the cookbook she stole from her mother before leaving Texas.
On the flip-side, Meryl Street as Julia Child lets loose with much candour that steals the show away in its entirety. Truth be told, I would rather have watched the life of Julia Child alone without any notice of Julie Powell, despite the sterling efforts of Amy Adams.
Married to Paul (the ever dapper Stanley Tucci), an American diplomat, they are posted in Paris where she charms everyone in minutes with her affability while she towers over them. It is in the city of romance where she gets her first taste of French cuisine that soon opens up a passion for food that will take over completely.
After mastering Cordon Bleu cooking, she teams up with two aspiring cookbook writers, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, to start up L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes before collaborating with them to produce one of the most important cookbooks in America’s home-cooking landscape, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Liberally sprinkled with grand images of food porn that gets you salivating every other minute, the movie drags on a little too long at 2 hours. It doesn’t help that Julie Powell’s story is stitched up quickly with a rather anti-climatic ending that leaves us wondering what happened with her new found success.
Oh: The slighted ending and the duration.
Yep: The food, oh mon dieu, it looked wonderful. I could smell it all the way from where I was seated.
Verbatim: Julia Child: These damn things are hotter than a stiff cock!
Thumbs: 3.5 / 5