Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Meryl Streep sizzles in Julie & Julia

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 12:00 PM

click to enlarge SPLIT SCREEN: Meryl Streep as Julia Child
  • SPLIT SCREEN: Meryl Streep as Julia Child

Julie Powell’s blog-turned-memoir Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen blended two unlikely ingredients: gourmet cooking and online journaling. The venture originated in 2002 as “The Julie/Julia Project,” with Powell recording her attempt to cook all the recipes in Julia Child’s landmark cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking within a year. Sharing food, like posting a blog entry, can provide a way to connect creatively with people, but otherwise, the two activities seem unrelated.

Julie & Julia's film version equates eating and cooking with living. The movie implies that blogging amounts to a pale imitation of life, but that’s not writer/director Nora Ephron’s aim. The creator of toothless romantic comedies such as Sleepless in Seattle, Ephron offers a well-intentioned chick flick that focuses on food and joie de vivre, rather than the tired tropes of courtship and clothes. In depicting the relationship between two women who never meet, Julie & Julia makes Julie look less like a pupil than a shadow of Julia. It’s like comparing beef bourguignon to marshmallow fluff.

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(Image courtesy 2009 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.)

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