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  • Writer's pictureMax Markowitz

Julie & Julia

Delightful Charming And Cozy

Julie & Julia is like a predictable visit to your favorite restaurant that you can always depend on. The service is delightful, the food is always delicious and the interiors are charming and cozy.

The film is presented in a series of flashbacks between various moments in both Julia Childs's (Meryl Streep) and Julie Powell's (Amy Adams) lives. In the 1950s, Julie Child moves to Paris with her diplomat husband Paul (an adorable and loving Stanley Tucci) and attends Le Cordon Bleu to learn French cooking. Despite being met with skepticism as she’s the only woman in the class, she soon becomes a very talented chef and soon begins collaborating on a book about French cooking for American housewives with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle (Linda Emond and Helen Carey).

In 2002, Julie Powell lived in a pizzeria with her husband Eric (Chris Messina) and had an unpleasant job at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s call center where she answered telephone calls from victims of the September 11 attacks and members of the general public complaining about the LMDC’s controversial plans for rebuilding the World Trade Center. An aspiring writer, she is encouraged by Eric to blog about something she enjoys. Cooking is an escape for her because she’s usually the one in control so she decides to blog about cooking every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering The Art Of French Cooking (The book Child collaborated on with Beck and Bertholle) which she plans to successfully complete over the course of one year.

Julia Child may not be Streep’s biggest role but it seems to be her happiest and certainly her most playful. Streep’s Julia Child reminded audiences how Child herself was revolutionary. Back in the 50s, women were expected to be perfect and show no cracks in the roles they were made to play, especially in the kitchen. The child eventually had her own cooking show called The French Chef and at that time, it must have been quite a big deal for women to see a woman publicly and cheerfully make clumsy mistakes and show flaws in an area that was supposed to be flawless. The meals always end up perfect but the process of making them perfect takes multiple times and imperfections. Women who struggled with this we're able to look on their television screens and see someone who had the same problem and make it fun and for that time period, empowering.

“You don’t need a diploma to teach cooking,” Simone tells Julia who keeps failing her exams. “That’s probably true but I don’t care. I’m a straight A student” Julia cheerfully responds. “I want a diploma”. Julia eventually lies to the woman who won’t give her another chance to take the exam that Paul is friends with the American ambassador who is Julia’s words “Will be very displeased if I’m not allowed to take MY examination”. Julia wasn’t the sort of person who had conflicts with people so it was just fun to see her get someone's feathers ruffled. Julia and Paul’s marriage was truly the embodiment of true love. They just got one another. After the first get to Paris, the very tall Julia becomes restless and lies on the bed with her feet sticking out past the end. “Must I find something to do?” Julia sighs as she and Paul have their first meal in a cafe. “What is it you REALLY like to do?” Paul playfully teases her. “EAT!” Julia happily exclaims. “And you’re so good at it! Paul replies. “I’m growing in front of you!” Julia laughs.

Julia’s ability to poke fun at herself definitely isn’t something Julie Powell can relate to. She’s so unhappy with her life but it’s not out of ingratitude but restlessness. She fails several times to make certain dishes perfect and she has a reaction every time. Sometimes, she’ll lie on the floor and in her own words “Cry like an emotionally disturbed child,” kick her oven, and run away from lobster boiling in a pot screaming. With the support of Eric and her best friend Sarah (An absolute riot of a performance by Mary Lynn Rajskub), Julie starts to improve but it sure was a routine that took some getting used to. Helpless Julie couldn’t even boil an egg properly as she never had them growing up.

Sarah: “How could you never have had an egg before?”

Julie: (Defensively) “I’ve had eggs in “like” cakes. I’ve never had an “Egg” egg. I was a very willful child.”

Julie moves the tragic yolk in the boiling pot simply by slowly twirling it with a wooden spoon as though she thinks it’s going to attack her. Julie and Sarah look into the pot and the adorable poor abused innocent egg who had never done anything to anyone looks all soapy.

Julie/Sarah: “EEEEWWWWW!”

Julie: (So quietly you could hear a pin drop) “……………..disgusting.”

Sarah: (excited with the book in her hands) “Oh! Maybe the eggs aren’t fresh. Julia says the eggs have to be fresh.”

Julie: (Already Feeling defeated) “THEY ARE FRESH!!!!”

Sarah: “Ok. You don’t have to bite my head off. (Smiles in a teasing way) I’m just quoting JULIA.”

If Julie thought boiling an egg was going to be easy, she was in for quite a shock by the time she had to boil a lobster. She doesn't know how she’s going to be able to go through with killing a living thing. She and Eric drive home from the supermarket only to hear the lobster moving around in the brown grocery bag making it shake a little. Julie looks into the bag and sees the lobster’s adorable face and beady eyes that are the size of bird seeds.

Julie: “OH GOD”.

They arrive home and Julie holds the fidgety lobster over the boiling pot.

Julie: “goodbye.”

She puts the lobster in the pot only for the closed lid to come off. Julie runs out of the kitchen screaming as she thinks the lobster is going to come out and crawl towards her. It’s so hilarious and adorably pathetic, that I could just die.

Eric is happy to hold the lid until the poor lobster is dead but Julie’s obsession with perfection eventually causes some tension and Eric temporarily moves out. Julie of course goes right to Sarah and the two have a glass of wine.

Sarah: “I can’t believe it. You and Eric are “THE ONES”. If you guys can’t make it work, who can?

Julie: “Lots of people can, just not me because I am a bitch. I AM Sarah. I’m a bitch.”

Sarah: Nodding in casual agreement “I know. I know you are.”

Julie: Do you really think I’m a bitch?

Sarah: With no hesitation “Well yeah.”

Julie: In disgust at herself “I know.”

Sarah: “But who isn’t?”

Julie: “....................Julia.”

Sometimes you can create perfect outcomes in anything you try to create but the work it takes to get there will always have flaws and it’s those flaws that make Julie & Julia such a delight to watch. Watching Julie walk to work with a raspberry cream fall through her plastic bag and splat onto her leather boots is what it’s all about. Julie & Julia is a hilarious film that actually promotes a very healthy message to people that you don’t have to be perfect at everything. Trying your best is what matters. Some of us are Julies, some of us are Julia’s but with a loving support system, we can always find our way to deliciousness.

Harper, J., John, D, T. P., Sandhya, coblin, M., Allison, Valley, T. I., Lobo, S., Besthol, P. D., Ward, M., Disney, Kia, Izmir, Mall, M., J, hartley, O., Giris, T., Sherry, Hodges, D., … soultravelers3. (2022, January 18). 50 best travel movies for travel lovers. The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog. Retrieved July 17, 2022, from

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