Book to Movie: Julie & Julia

I realize I am about a year behind the times on this, both in reading Julie Powell's book, Julie & Julia, and in watching the movie. I reviewed the book last September, well after the initial buzz had come and gone, in honor of my strict read-the-book-before-you-see-the-movie policy. And then I waited nearly a year to finally watch the movie...

Let me tell you, I am very sorry not to have seen it sooner. Nora Ephron, who produced and wrote the screenplay, did an excellent job of weaving together Julie Powell's story of her 524 recipes in 365 days and Julia Child's story of learning to cook. Making allowances for a few forced transitions between 1949 and 2002, the movie was well-done, well-written (a must for any book-to-movie adaptation) and, perhaps most importantly, well acted.

As when reading the book, I found myself identifying with Julie's strange neuroses and oddball breakdowns, her habit of speaking to figures that aren't there and can't hear you, and occasionally - ok, not so occasionally - cussing at the oven when whatever meal I'm attempting to prepare refuses to cooperate. In the end, I was left yearning for more - more Julie, more Julia, and more French food.

Bottom line: If you're like me and you haven't gotten around to seeing it yet, for whatever reason, make it a point to do so. Just make sure you have a bottle of decent wine on hand, as well as a plate or two of butter-rich food, because it will otherwise leave you wanting.

8 comments

  1. I still haven't gotten around to seeing the movie, although I'd like to because I love Streep but I did read the book. I'm happy to hear you say the movie is good. After reading the book I was less interested in the movie because I was (and still kind of am) afraid they will have to tone dow Julie's neuroses and cursing. My favorite book scene is when she's practicing her omlette flipping technique outside her apartment and her response to the lost family. Perhaps I'll give the movie a go and I'll make sure to have wine at hand.

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  2. I loved the movie, although I have no interest in the book! :)

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  3. I enjoyed the movie, but more for the Julia Child portions of it. If you haven't already, I recommend reading Child's book My Life in France which I think was also a basis for the movie; Julia Child had an amazingly interesting life

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  5. Hi -- I agree with the poster who recommended Julia Child's book My Life in France. It's such a wonderful story of a life lived fully, and of course a great love story between Julia and Paul Child. That was the best part of the "Julie and Julia" movie; I just loved Meryl Streep's and Stanley Tucci's performances.

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  6. Red - They do tone down her cursing (for rating purposes, I'm sure), but not her neuroses so much!

    Eva - I can understand that, although the book was quite entertaining.

    Suzanne & Karen - Thanks for the recommendation! I've always wanted to read Child's book... one day, I will get around to it.

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  7. i did read the book and watch the movie--it was such fun! i can't imagine cooking my way through some of those recipes! i think i could probably navigate the dessert section, though.

    have you read her most recent book--cleaved?

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  8. Nat - I love the dessert section most! I haven't read Cleaved yet, have you? Any good?

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