Meryl as Julia, getting busy with some poultry. What’s not to love????
Julie & Julia, the charming and fun film starring Meryl Streep as the legendary culinary guru Julia Child and Amy Adams as blogger Julie Powell hits theaters tomorrow. And if you like food, or just love the Food Network, and are a sucker for comfy, funny films set in 1950’s Paris, and contemporary NYC, you’ll love this movie.
Super quick backstory: In 2002, frustrated New Yorker Julie Powell, a foodie, started a blog wherein she’d chronicle her experience of cooking her way through Julia Child’s landmark cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. That meant making 524 recipes in 365 days. Yikes! Julie & Julia follows this feat, and parallels it with how Child herself became a gourmande while living in Paris with her husband in post-World War II Paris.
As Child, Streep is a joy. She’s big (Child was 6’2” tall), blousy, exuberant and a thrill to watch. And as Powell, Adams keeps what could be a big whimper-fest (if you’ve seen trailers, you’ve seen a lot of damp-eyed moments wherein Adams looks mopey and mild) into a funny, if at times fragile, portrait of a frazzled woman who finds strength in cooking, and in her own determination.
But quickly (too late?), after the jump are 6 great reasons to see the flick…
It’s Nora Ephron at her best. The director who gave us the stories behind When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle scores in this foodie opus (Ephron herself is a noted cook; see Heartburn, based on her book – and her life). Paris in the 50s is a happy land of winsome bistros, ancient streets, rich banquettes and colorful markets. It’s gorgeous. And even Queens, NYC shines in its own gritty, zesty way. Women are plucky and sharp, men are supportive, and good girls finish first.
Meryl Streep + Julia Child + 1950′s Paris = Totally tasty filmmaking. Magnifique!!!!
Meanwhile, back in Queens in 2002, Amy Adams readies her shiv for a kitchen throwdown.
Your Mom will love it. This one’s a total Mom film. And you should spend more time with your mother!
Streep rules. Duh. But she’s sooo much fun to watch in this, it’s ridiculous. For more of her, check out this nice recent appearance on Good Morning America.
The Cordon Bleu boys get schooled. Attagirl, Meryl!
Chris Messina is freaking adorable. He plays Julie’s husband. Yes, again, he’s playing the supportive good guy (like he did on Six Feet Under), and nobody does it better. He makes nice guys look sexy.
Adams and onscreen hubby, Chris Messina. Mmmmmm… He’s like buttah.
You’ll want to eat. And cook. Seriously, if you don’t leave the theater with a severe hankering for boeuf bourgignon or sole meuniere or just a good roast chicken, you have no appetite for life! And you’ll actually want to spend time making these dishes. Yes, Julia Child is that inspiring.
Jane Lynch! The towering, gangly, always-genius out actress, known for comic turns in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and a zillion other raucous films (she’s also in the upcoming series Glee) stars as Julia Child’s even taller sister, Dorothy. Awesome.
Jane Lynch plays Julia’s taller kid sister! Hurrah! And Stanley Tucci totally shines as Julia’s husband, Paul.
So, that’s your task for this coming weekend. See Julie & Julia. Then go eat a fab French meal. Then cook one yourself.
Julie & Julia: A great movie for foodies. Bad movie for lobsters.