Monday, September 07, 2009

Bon appétit!

I’ve been looking forward to seeing Julie & Julia for a while now. It’s based on the book by Julie Powell who set out to cook each recipe in Julia Childs’ Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook in 365 days. I heard about Powell’s book when it first came out and knew it had come from her blog; as a novice blogger I was more than a little excited to see how she went from anonymously typing away in her apartment to having the oh-so-adorable Amy Adams portray her on the big screen.

(I loved the scene when she and a co-worker high-fived when Powell had her first non-friend/non-relative comment on her blog. I totally get that!)

The movie was sweet. You could sense how much Powell adored Childs, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Julia Childs, played masterfully by Meryl Streep. She certainly seemed like a spitfire. I loved the relationship between Julia and her husband, Paul. They dearly loved each other. Hope that was true…

The movie inspired me to read the Julie/Julia blog, which began in August, 2002 and wrapped up two years later – Powell’s last post was the day after Childs’ death in 2004. I was also curious to find out what, exactly, Childs thought about Powell’s blog. (Spoiler alert) There’s a scene where Powell gets a call from a reporter who’s looking for a response to the news that Childs didn’t appreciate the blog. How in the world could Childs not have liked it? The movie made Powell out to be such a lovely person who respected Julia Childs and looked on her as a mother of sorts. I had to figure that out.

A few moments after my search located the blog I had my answer: Powell is nothing at all like the Amy Adams portrayal on the big screen. She is foul-mouthed, coarse and crude and if I were a famous cooking icon I wouldn’t want my name associated with that kind of talk, either.

Or her whining: “Why is it that I am such a **** nuisance? It’s like wherever I go, this magnetic field of cosmic inconvenience follows me, infecting anyone I come near." "I’m just so **** tired all the time."

Or her infantile political rants. I can barely bring myself to quote one, but I will so you’ll see what I mean: “…(Tom) Delay is the antichrist au currant. I don’t know what we can do, really, short of…assassinating the little bastard. Write the **** and give him a piece of your mind, I guess.”

Childs is portrayed in the movie as left of center; even so I can’t imagine she wanted her carefully crafted professional image to be associated with such drivel.

I tell my kids that books are always better than the movies made from them; in this case, the opposite is true. I’m going to remember the movie and try to forget anything I’ve read on that blog.

And Meryl Streep deserves an Oscar.