What's Wrong With Julie & Julia
We've had a couple of days to digest the trailer for Julie & Julia, the movie based on the book based on the blog based on Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and we've decided that we're not happy.
Let's be blunt: Julie Powell's Julie & Julia was not a thrilling, uproarious read. To give the movie version a bit more of a narrative thrust than just an endearingly downtrodden blogger-type cooking her way through the book (with enough cameos by New York food gliterrati to make all the bloggers swoon), the filmmakers have made the decision to splice Julie's story together with Julia's. Half of the film is based on Child's memoir My Life in France, the other half on Julie Powell's book. From the looks of it, it's two movies, all intertwined, where (if we've learned anything from multi-chronological women-oriented dramedies) somehow they'll all tie together in some climactic, thematic, and endearing way.
So that's what makes us sad. From the looks of the trailer, the Julia Child part of the story, set in France in the 1950s, looks like a wonderful movie. Child's life is a great story — she was an "international spy"! She was a groundbreaking cookbook author! She was one of the first culinary television stars! She was endearingly goofy! — and we honestly think that her biography warrants its own film. Her legacy deserves more than being the other half to a Nora Ephron-penned romcom about a "lowly cubicle worker" who blogs and struggles and cries and gets a book deal.
Even worse, we suspect that because of Julie & Julia, we'll never actually get a well-made Julia Child film. Maybe we'll get a nice documentary someday, but it'll never be the film that we were supposed to get.
Video: Julie & Julia Trailer