I've been anxiously awaiting the release of Meryl Streep's new film, Julie & Julia, and today was the day. I'm not going to spoil anything specific here, by the way. If you're looking forward to seeing the film? You absolutely should be. It was delightful.
I've always been one of those people who is comfortable going to the movies by myself. Although my husband is incredibly patient, and would gladly sit through a film aimed at a female audience, I generally only ask him to do that for movies we rent on DVD. That way he may find himself mired in a Chick Flick, but at least we can pause at will.
Most of my friends were at work, and I had this morning free. So I got up, showered, dressed and took myself to the movies. Frankly, I don't like to see sad movies by myself. It isn't as much fun to sit sniffling by ones self in the dark, but laughing with strangers is a wonderful experience. I was far from the only person in the theater there in my own company. Evidently this movie inspired a lot of people, both men and women, to take themselves to the movies on a Friday morning.
It's a really delightful film, although the half featuring Meryl Streep as Julia Child is by far the more interesting. Amy Adams tries like mad, and heaven knows she's a very endearing actor, but her character, Julie Powell, just isn't a riveting person. She's a bit of a lovable loser, actually. Unfortunately the modern-day story is chock full of stereotypes, catty friends, marriages challenged by a woman having an ambition not centered on her relationship, a goodly heaping of misplaced self-doubt and what I suspect was entirely manufactured drama.
Most of the story in 2002 is based on Julie Powell's own story, which makes it a pity that it isn't more interesting. It's not boring, but I did find myself impatient to get back to the 1950s, France and elsewhere with Julia Child.
By the way, I think a lot of people wait for DVDs to come out thinking it will be much less expensive. My 10:30 a.m. showing cost $6.00s and I readily admit I simply smuggled in a bottle of water with me.
Make sure to eat before you go though, or you'll be hungry enough to eat your own shoe by the end of it.
One note on the (again, I suspect) manufactured drama: Although Powell's husband is incredibly supportive, and absolutely long suffering, the movie creates a situation that did not actually reflect well on him. Had he voiced his concerns at any other point, because they are entirely valid, I probably would have been cheering him on. However, the movie has it that he chooses the worst moment possible, in the very recent aftermath of what is an actual disappointment of a nearly crushing nature.
That's one of the problems with Chick Flicks, and this one was written (and primarily written well) by Nora Ephron. They might set out to make women feel empowered, but the situation in this film just made me feel weary.
It is entirely possible for women to accomplish much without turning into selfish hell beasts. Perhaps Powell didn't find it to be so, but I've read some of what she wrote. She's a very capable, talented writer, and I suspect an incredible cook. I had a hard time believing that she so nearly folded, but I also had a much harder time believing that her husband chose that particular moment to withdraw his support.
In other words, too often Chick Flicks accidentally make men look far more callous than most of them are. The counter-balance is that Julia Child's husband (played by Stanley Tucci) is wonderful from start to finish.