Nora Ephron's Julie & JUlia is a sweet movie about two women...in pursuit of doing something meaningful and in return, get satsifaction and possibly, some recognition too. They are not romancing men or running after them, either...instead, they are in pursuit of something less complex and something, which can be achieved after work in the kitchen from ingredients bought in the local market. Yes, we are talking about cooking.
While Julia Childs was starting from scratch in her attempt to master the art of French cooking, and when she reached a certain level of excellence, she wrote a book, Julie Powell was already interested in cooking and sort of a good cook, when she decided to start on a culinary journey of her own using Mrs. Child's book as a focal point. This, one can see...Julie could have done for various reasons. Most importantly, she was trying to find her true calling and in that sense, she could have been a man in pursuit of some other goal. In true sense, Julie represents all of us, who have left some of our goals in incomplete or unaccomplished state, however unlike most of us, she gets down in dogged pursuit of achieving the impossible against all odds.
If you love food, there are enough temptations on screen to get you hooked to the movie. Given the challenge, that Julie takes on...doing more than 500 recipes in a year, there is always something on the stove. Meryl Streep is simply great in her role, playing the American in France who is bored of making hats or doing nothing and gets down to doing the impossible, or a woman learning French cooking at Cordon Bleu. When she enters the room full of men in their chef's attire in her colorful avatar, the contrast couldn't have been stronger. Amy Adams gives a great performance as Julie Powell on the other hand, who having just moved to a house in the suburb above a pizza place, is trying to find a meaning in her life.
Both the women are well supported by their husbands, roles well played by Stanley Tucci for Paul child and Chris Messina for Eric Powell, who allow them to get all the attention and the book deals.
While the story moves in parallel, almost half a century apart, there are enough similarities to bond them together. While Julie does get her place and recognition through her blog, the last scene, which shows the kitchen of Julia Childs at the Smithsonian Museum, leaves no doubt, that we are talking about a legend here, when the two never meet and the relation between them is a lot about admiration and respect for Mrs. Child, as the ideal woman and role model in the heart of Julie Powell.
Though, I found it little hard to accept Meryl Streep portraying a woman in her late 30's role in 1950's. She definitely looked much older than that. But, if you consider, Bollywood has done it so many times, with Jaya Bachchan playing the role of a newly married woman or young mother in black & white or sepia tinted moving images in 2000's...I shouldn't be complaining.
Julia & Julia is like the great food related shows on Discovery Travel & Living Channel with a nice storyline. Nora Ephron did the story / screenplay of few of the most romantic movies I have seen, like When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail. You know, what I mean? Don't miss it! It may get crowded out by some big movies in the theaters.