10 January 2010

Julie & Julia

This is one of those cases where I'd set the bar SO low that I actually ended up really enjoying the movie. Nora Ephron generally brings out the worst in me, and everything I'd read about Julie & Julia prepared me to want to slap babies whenever Amy Adams was on the screen - not because of Amy Adams, I should clarify, but rather, because of the character she plays. Apparently she's taken some heat for her performance, but personally, I bet she did it just right. It's just not a very appealing character.

So yes, Julie is annoying. A self-absorbed, whiny, trite woman who wants nothing more than attention from strangers as a way to feel better about herself. But Adams manages to inject some kind of humanity into her, such that I didn't hate her as much as I expected to. Her husband is a bit too good to be true, but is a thoroughly likeable and supportive guy. You don't quite understand what he sees in his wife, but hey. I did really appreciate that they included Julia Child's reaction to the whole project (ie, barf).

On the other hand, Meryl Streep is absolutely transcendent as Julia Child. Believe the hype. And her relationship with Stanley Tucci is SO lovely - just like people say.

My only real beef with the film, aside from the whole Julie portion, is that one would really like a bit more food porn. Nora Ephron seems to have missed the fact that the movie's main audience was likely to be foodies, ie, people who would be happy to watch food cook for long stretches of time. There were many delicious looking things, sure, but no real attention to their creation and consumption. I don't give a crap about the characters, show me the eats.

Turns out the old Julia Child episodes are available from the Netflix - and can now be found at the top of my queue.

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