Thursday, August 13, 2009

Julie & Julia

So I went and saw the movie, Julie & Julia, a couple of nights ago after just finishing the book. The movie is actually adapted from both Julie & Julia by Julie Powell, and Julia Child's My Life in France. For those who are not familiar with the story- Julie Powell was living in Queens and feeling like an unaccomplished, almost 30 year-old. For some reason, she decides to cook her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking and write a blog about it. (All I could think while reading the book was, why, oh why, did I not come up with that idea!?!) Anyhow, she started this project in 2002 when blogging was just starting to take off. In the actual book, you'll find that Julie is a bit more crass than Amy Adams portrayed her in the film. My guess is that her sailor's mouth language wouldn't have translated as well in film. I'm not going to lie, a few F-Bombs here and there don't really offend me and actually, by the end of the book, made her more endearing to me. Obviously, cooking your way through Julia Child's recipes is going to result in some serious flops, wasted ingredients, and well, some F-Bombs. (Even if you just think it in your head, let's be honest.) Over the year that she worked on this project, she developed a loyal readership that eventually led to her writing a book and getting a movie deal. It's a pretty incredible story really.

Likewise, Julia Child has an incredible story of her own. I am currently reading, My Life in France and don't yet know her story aside from what was portrayed in the movie. I've owned the book for years and decided I needed to break it out after seeing the movie. Julia got married later than most people, late 30s and moved to Paris with her husband while he was working for the government. She decided that she needed something to do and enrolls in culinary school although she knew absolutely nothing about food, other than of course, loving to eat it (the most essential element to being a good cook). She and two friends decide to write a French cookbook for American home cooks, which takes them a very long time, but eventually becomes Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Obviously, the book is a huge success and Julia Child becomes one of the most beloved cooks in the world.

Both stories are just awesome. Each woman found success through a passion for food and their stories are inspiring. At the very least, the movie made me want to make Beef Bourguignon, which I will be making just as soon as fall arrives. For those of us who love to cook, we can relate to these women because we find success, no matter how minimal it may seem to others, in the kitchen. There may be days when I feel like I have no idea what I want out of my life, but when I get to the kitchen, I can at the very least, take out a few ingredients and make something truly satisfying.


Hillary said...

Awwww ... this makes me miss you. And your cooking. :-)

Emily said...

I'm glad you started reading My Life in France - you'll love it! I haven't gone to see the movie yet, but I can't wait!