Monday, August 10, 2009

Julie & Julia Prove No Woman is an Island

Today was the first day of school, and I had a great day. I'm sure I'll have some commentary later in the week about the new year, but that's not the subject of tonight's blog. I saw Julie & Julia yesterday, and I need to write about it before too much time passes.

I didn't expect to see this one until it came out on video. It's not the kind of movie my guys typically want to see, although I do think Bruce would like it. Thankfully, my friend, Linda, was all about it. She's a movie buff, and she has a movie quote for every situation. She has already adopted the Julia Childs voice. In fact, she greeted me at school today with a jaunty, high pitched, "Good mooorning!"

Both of us give the movie two thumbs up. Meryl Streep's Julia is wonderful, and Amy Adams is fun as the modern day Julie. The movie opens with Julia and her husband Paul moving to Paris. He's working at the US embassy, and she needs something to do. She adores French food and ends up at the famed Cordon Bleu. Meanwhile in the present, Julie sits in a cubicle at the offices of the government agency charged with redeveloping lower Manhattan after 9/11. She loves to cook and revives her battered spirit at the end of each day in the kitchen. She is a writer with a half-finished novel and no sense of purpose. At the encouragement of her husband, she sets a goal to cook the 524 recipes in Julia Childs' cookbook in 365 days and to blog about it.

Both women find themselves through cooking and writing about cooking. Julia devotes eight years to her famous Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She is rejected by numerous publishers. They all like her concept, but not the length (It's over 700 pages). Julie has victories and setbacks as the following for her blog grows.

The thing that really resonated with me was the support both women had from the men in their lives. Paul Childs was crazy in love with Julia. He supported her from the beginning in her desire to learn to cook French food and then to write the book. When she received a particularly painful rejection, he dropped the only F-bomb in the movie, and the audience cheered. He kept telling her she was wonderful and that her book would change the world. And it did. After 49 printings, the proof is in the pudding (pun intended).

Julie's husband was the catalyst for her blog. The blog led to a book deal, and now she's a professional writer.

Writing is time-consuming. There are only so many hours in a day. Cliche, but true. Choosing to spend time writing means choosing not to do other things. For example, I should be in bed now after a long first day back at work, followed by chauffeuring my younger son from football, cooking dinner, and a trek up Mount Laundrymore. Instead I'm writing.

Thanks to the support of my husband and my boys, I always feel good about the time I spend writing. Bruce gets why I do it. He understands there is a part of me that has to write to be fed. My boys are old enough to understand having a passion for something. I've discovered through third parties they brag about having a mom who has written a book. That's cool.

Writing is a solitary pursuit, but as both Julie and Julia demonstrate, it's a lot easier with a cheering section.


  1. I've heard really good things about this movie and now with your review, I really want to see it.

    I, too, am lucky to have family support for my love of writing. I can't how tough it would to write and overcome obstacles of resistance at the same time.

    Hope you have a great school year.