Monday, February 15, 2010
Julie & Julia (2009)
I'm going to have t go with the general consensus on this one: the half of this movie dealing with Meryl Streep as Julia Childs and Sanley Tucci as her husband, Paul, in France is, to put is simply, very nice stuff. If they had just focused on these two, and their wonderful relationship from, say, their time in the O.S.S. until Julia published her first cookbook, it probably would have been wonderful. I realize it is difficult to come up with new ways to make a biopic, and going back and forth between the life of Julia Child and Julia Powell writing her blog about Julia Child might have seemed like a novel concept and it could have been. But the stuff in modern day New York is mostly just annoying. Julia Powell comes off as a self-involved narcissist, and even though she sort of admits as much, it doesn't make it that much more tolerable. And it is made even worse in comparison when flashing back to Child's story, where Tucci and Streep put on an acting class on portraying smart adults in a truly, loving, committed relationship that seems breezy and unforced. Powell's relationship with her husband is ridiculous. They get in what seems like a minor argument about her blog and...moves out. For about two days. And they needed some sort of conflict, apparently, so its treated like some sort of epic tragedy for about a minute. I can't express how annoying these characters come off. But Streep and Tucci are really great, as is a majority of the stuff in Paris. Nora Ephron needs to release a special edition DVD where you can just watch one story or another so we can skip the New York stuff.