"You are the butter to my bread, you are the breath to my life."
Julie and Julia felt like going to a fine restaurant to eat. It is not your typical fast food Hollywood movie, this is much more refined. Many people when going to the movies want to see some light film that will entertain them without having to think much about the performances, story, or dialogues (what I call fast-food). On the other hand there are some others (although fewer in number and much harder to please) that want to go to a movie that will make them think and feel like their time at the theater is productive and well spent. They go into the movie searching for good performances, great dialogues, or at least a decent story that hasnt been told before (which I compare it to the experience of going to a fine restaurant to eat). Well Julie and Julia falls into the fine restaurant category thanks to a great performance from the always reliable Meryl Streep, good supporting job by Stanley Tucci and Amy Adams. At times the movie can feel a little overcooked because you get the sensation the movie is so long and takes forever to end, but every time Streep is on screen she just shines and puts a smile on your face. Once again she plays a totally different role, she is such a versatile actress, and this time she has a very unique accent that is very sweet and funny at the same time.
The film has two parallel stories that intertwine during the movie. They are both based on true stories. One of the stories takes place during the 1940s where Julia Childs played by the great Meryl Streep is moving to Paris with her husband (Tucci) because he works for the government and is going to work at the American consulate in Paris. From the beginning we know Julia Childs is a famous TV cook host and a writer as well, but the story focuses more on how she became so passionate about cooking and the decade it took her to write her first recipe cook book. Tucci and Streep are just wonderful together and their chemistry is great. He is always supporting her wife, especially when she is searching for her passion. They share the funniest scenes in the movie. The other story is about Julie played by Amy Adams, who lives in the post 9-11 days and works for a government agency where she helps people deal with the tragedy. She used to be a writer, but she seems to leave everything half-way. She also has a very supporting husband who wants her to find a passion as well and together they discover that she can blog about food. Julie identifies with Julia and decides to cook her more than 500 recipes in one year and blog about the experience each day.
Even though the movie might feel like it drags at times, the film works because of Meryl Streep. She is terrific and plays a very sweet and likeable character. Her voice is very funny and there is even a SNL clip where Dan Aykroid is playing Julia Childs that is probably one of the funniest scenes of the movie so I am glad they included the clip. It helped the viewers understand the true fame that Childs reached because the film explores her early days even though she was more than 40 when she began. Her performance was worthy of an Oscar nomination and the movie should have focused more on that story, not because Adams did a bad job, but because Streep was simply superb. The movie has a feel good message as well and teaches you that it is never too late to find your true passion in life and fight for it. This is a highly recommended movie if you are in the mood for fine cooking, but if you are more into a fast-food movie than this is probably a movie you will want to skip.