Sunday, August 9, 2009

Movie Review: "Julie & Julia"

(Yes, I'm not always the political animal. Consider this the first installment of my "Arts & Entertainment" series.)

OK, so I just got back from seeing the movie. I haven't had a chance to go to the cinema in a while, so I just had to walk over to Green Valley Ranch today to see something I've been eagerly awaiting for quite a while. So here’s my take. It's charming and heartwarming at times, but doesn't really dig deep enough into the real emotions and real humanity of Julia Child to really make this movie great.

Now I can not dispute that Meryl Streep simply shines as Julia Child. She takes the caricature of the culinary goddess in our minds and makes it come to life. However, I’m a little irked at Nora Ephron for only giving us the caricature of Child and not the Julia the real character. As well as Streep played the role, she just couldn’t make me ignore the fact that Ephron gave her such a flat character role.

Now regarding the Julie Powell character, I do agree that Amy Adams got the short end of the stick. IMHO, she was given the tougher role of playing a more full-bodied, real-life character of a writer nearing dead-end who finds joy in cooking great food (kind of like Paul Giamatti’s character in “Sideways” and his relationship with wine). Was the Julie Powell character whiny and annoying at times? Sure, but she was also sometimes charming (especially when she’d emerge triumphant after conquering another Julia Child recipe) and always relatable as a human being.

All in all, I found “Julie & Julia” quite enjoyable… But not really Academy Award material. If you’re a queeny bitch like me, you’ll probably also connect with Amy Adams. And of course, there’s no way not to love Meryl Streep in this special role (even if Nora Ephron didn’t make it 3-dimensional enough). But if you’re not into “chick flicks” (and it seems to me like Mr. ELV isn’t), wait until it comes out on DVD/iTunes and perhaps impress the girlfriend with the movie for “date night at home”.

(3.5 out of 5 stars)

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