“I blog because I have something to say to someone.”
– Me, 1/7/10
So this review is much belated. As a follow-up to my reviews of Julie and Julia the book and My Life in France, I had to write this review. So both books got the Nora Ephron treatment, one for the better and one for the worse.
The Julie side
Oh my god did the Julie side benefit from having Nora Ephron do this movie. First of all Nora chucks out all of those annoying friends and their stupid antics. No more couch in the hallway. No more friend having mindblowing sex with a married man. What Ephron replaces that inanity with is the joys of both cooking AND blogging. I love that Ephron really delved into Julie’s blogging life. Even more than Julie. I forgot what a great blogger Julie is. Her posts were positively delightful and you saw a real joy that Julie got out of blogging. This made clear the purpose of the blog, which is about finding your voice. Isn’t that what great blogs are? A good blogger is a good storyteller. You want to hear more. And with the movie Julie, you really do see that journey. It makes sense that she blogs and it makes sense she blogs about this project. The book is so in love with its own wackiness, that it loses the emotional poignancy of trying to figure yourself out. And the total affirmation of having people who care what you have to say. I still hated the endless scenes of Julie crying in the kitchen but those were minor annoyances as opposed to major irritations. The one piece of NY accuracy was having Julie move out to Queens in order to get 900 square feet of living space.
The Julia side
Ok, I admit to LOOOOVING My Life in France so the Julia side expectations were high. For the most part they were met. Meryl Streep is great as usual but I found her performance much too fluttery than my vision of Julia. The Julia I read was as far from a drama queen as you could get. But movie Julia dithering over cutting one of her collaborators loose and cried over being the barren sister. The book Julia was a more formidable and no-nonsense figure. But the rest of the stuff they got right. Julia’s detail oriented personality and her warm and loving relationship with Paul. The two standouts of the movie were Stanley Tucci as Paul who really gave a warmth to his role and Sue Sylvester, aka Jane Lynch as Julia’s sister Dorothy who nearly stole the whole movie. Both were totally delightful onscreen and their chemistry with Streep was off the charts.
All in all it was a satisfying movie. Given my low expectations of the Julie side, I really think that Julie’s story held its own.