I got this DVD in the supermarket yesterday, or maybe the day before – the days seems to blur one into the other for me. It was an impulse buy, £7, but I think it’s a really lovely film. I watched it with my Mum, it’s that kind of whimsical tale that suits mother/daughter viewing i.e. no embarrassing sex scenes with huffing and panting and sweaty bodies writhing around. Oh no. Here sex is merely alluded to, which is actually more satisfying.
As you can see, Meryl Streep stars. The film is actually based on two true stories that have been woven together.
The first is the story of Julia Child (Streep’s character), who had a very successful French cookery book published; her story, starting in 1949, shows how her passion for cooking led her to pursue a qualification and then to write a book.
The second story is of Julie (Adams’ character), a young woman living in slightly dour conditions in post-9/11 New York. She doesn’t like her job or her friends, but she is also passionate about food, and passionate about Julia Child’s cookbook. In 2002 she decides that she is going to start a blog and challenges herself to cook every one of Julia’s recipes (over 500 in the book) in 365 days. I don’t know if the blog still exists, probably not since Julie subsequently got a book deal, and from there someone had the idea of combining the two womens’ stories.
The other element that comes off well in the film is passion. The two women, in different eras, are contrasting in many ways, but the film is held together by shared passion. Passion for food, but also passion generally. Julia has a strong bond with her husband in the film, as does Julie.
It also spoke to me because Julie is also a just-turned-30 woman, so it suits my current mid-life crisis mentality that she was going through something too.