Rooster picked the movie Julie & Julia for us to watch one evening when we had nothing better to do. The movie’s plot centers around Julie Powell working her way through cooking all of the recipes found in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She writes a blog about her journey. We both enjoyed the movie. I remembered I had a copy of the book hidden in my stash in the closet beneath the stairs. I have my blog challenge. I’m trying to write a post every day for a year. Reading the book and reviewing Julie & Julia sounded like it would fit nicely into my endeavor.
I always enjoy a book more than the movie version. There are some nuances the movie misses in translating the author’s work onto the silver screen. The experience of diving into the movie and book of Julie & Julia proved to be the opposite.
Reasons I thought I would enjoy the book more
Julie works as a secretary in a government office where she is subject to every whim of the Republicans in charge. My job was as a secretary in a small university where I was subject to countless administrators’ whims, and their unrealistic expectations sucked. Both of us are bloggers. Better yet, she lives in Long Island City. My son lived in Astoria, right around the corner from her Queens neighborhood. I thought I would fall in love with the book. I was wrong.
Why I didn’t fall in love with Julie & Julia the book
It wasn’t that I hated the book. I would say I even liked it. The reason why I found myself a little disappointed was that I fell in love with the movie. Meryl Streep shines in her performance of Julia Childs. I almost believed the person on the screen was the famous cook. I also enjoyed Amy Adams in the role of Julie. The way she walked around cooking in that pearl necklace in imitation of her hero was a brilliant addition to the movie. Julie’s husband seemed like a doormat in the book. He had a touch more backbone in the movie. Her single friends were slightly flaky, but maybe they reflected single life in New York City in the early 2000s. I also enjoyed the glimpse of Julia Child’s life in the movie that wasn’t included in the book.
The highlights I liked best in the book Julie & Julia
I thought the inclusion of Julie’s brother, Heathcliff (A fictional name), added a dimension to the book. He didn’t appear in the movie. If he did, it was so brief I didn’t catch it. I found him sleeping on their couch in the small apartment while trying to establish a career selling soap interesting. The magical and sensual way Julie describes the food she cooks in her small Long Island City apartment kitchen is best captured in the book. I also enjoyed reading about the blackout and Julie’s trip home on the ferry. I am a disaster girl also. There is nothing like a good disaster if it is short in duration and nobody dies.
A summary of Julie & Julia
I believe the stunning portrayal of Julie Child by Meryl Streep gave the movie version of the book its intense, magical power. She brought the character to life on the screen. I suggest a person read the book before watching the movie because there will be less dissatisfaction with the written version. I have to confess the multiple endings in the book became distracting. It was as if the author didn’t know when to call it quits. Overall, I enjoyed both the book and the movie.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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