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'Julie & Julia' Is a Recipe for Optimism

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Susannah Locketti: "Julie & Julia" was just the movie I needed to see after years of trying to complete my first cookbook. The movie is based on the real lives of Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep) and Julie Powell (Amy Adams). Child's life is chronicled during her years in France, where she attended the infamous Cordon Bleu cooking school, and later collaborated and began work on her celebrated cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Julie Powell is a thirty-year-old, mild-mannered procrastinator who is inspired so much by Julia's life that she decides to spend a year cooking her way through the 500+ recipes in Julia's cookbook while blogging about the experience.

Julie and Julia
The stories of both women are supported by the undying love of the men in their lives. Paul is Julia's devoted husband who supports her endeavors with such warmth, while Julie's husband, Eric, supports her crazy culinary quest despite nervous breakdowns and at times a self-centered attitude.

At the core of this movie is a message of optimism to accomplish goals in our lives, no matter how lofty or absurd they may seem. The movie is also a reminder to those around us to lovingly support those dreams. I'll admit this aspect of the movie made me cry. My ex chose not to support my culinary dreams, and it was tough eating newly created meals alone or going through the ups and downs of my culinary career without a caring support system. Watching Julia Child's husband sweetly complimenting and photographing her deboned duck was heartwarming. Even more heartwarming was hearing Julie's husband ask "What's for dinner?" after the two reconciled a fight.

No matter our dreams, it is food that will always provide the nourishment and energy to complete the ambitious journey. "Julie & Julia" reminds viewers that the true recipe for success is hope, love, and a double batch of Boeuf Bourguignon‎.

Anyone that eats should definitely nosh on "Julie & Julia."

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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Clare Stella August 11, 2009, 8:15 PM

This is a well-written review, Susannah, and I agree with what you’ve said. The love stories are a big part of what makes this movie work. It also helps the audience to realize that dreams can come true. Now I really want to make one of Julia Child’s recipes thought maybe not the one where she de-bones a duck! Keep writing!

Gail Cooke August 12, 2009, 3:52 PM

I LOVED this movie…if they portrayed Julia’s relationship with her husband, it was one great love affair. I’m not overly fond of Meryl Streep, but I have to say, she did an AMAZING job…and Stanley Tucci was BRILLIANT. The chemistry between the two was perfection. I’m purchasing the dvd as soon as it comes out. I found the Julie Powell part of the storyline wasn’t as engaging, but it was good as well. The actors didn’t have the chemistry between them like the Meryl/Stanley match, but it had its moments.

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