Julie and Julia (PG-13) - 2009 - Runtime: 123 minutes
Starring: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina
Director: Nora Ephron
I had a free ticket that I needed to burn, okay? Alright, I admit, I'm the one who asked Maggie to go see this. I was actually really enthusiastic about seeing this movie. No it's not Streep, it's Adams. It seems I have a bit of a crush on her. I've enjoyed all of her movies (yes, even the bore-tastic Junebug and Doubt for which she was nominated). So I was pretty high on this movie because it just looked like a fun one and it doesn't hurt that half the story is about blogging. Right down my alley, as Julie Powell's blog is pretty much the first "countdown" blogs that existed or at least was made popular.
The movie was pretty much what I expected, but in a good way. It jumps from Julie's story to Julia's story (I am intentionally trying to confuse you...pay attention!) and somehow it manages to find parallels to both women's journey (whether fictional or not) that never seems forced or unnatural. There's ups and downs just like any movie, but the performances, especially Streep, are what stand out. It's no surprise that most critics think it's Streep's Oscar to lose. Every time the story went to Julia's timeline, I found my self enthusiastically grinning with each scene.
Julia's story is uplifting and she's so full of energy and life that it brims over into the theater. This may sound naive and maybe a bit pretentious, but I thought her relationship with her husband, played by Stanley Tucci, was so refreshing. There weren't any scenes of dysfunction in that relationship. Sure, they went through hard times, but never once did you think they didn't love each other. It feels like to me, I haven't seen relationships treated that way in a long time in movies - especially marriages. It was a subtle and nice touch that I noticed and appreciated.
A lot of critics loved Julia Child's part of the movie, but felt Julie Powell's quest seem a bit flat and only full of complaining and whiny bitching. That's not the case. Maybe's it's because I understand her viewpoint because we both live in the realm of blogs, but her story was just as important (maybe not as fun) as Child's and you're with her all the way. It's a good story to tell and Adams was perfect for the role.
If you haven't seen it, check it out - it's worth a matinee showing at the theater!
Rating: See It!