Monday, September 14, 2009

Julie & Julia

I just got home from seeing the movie. It doesn't start until Wednesday here, but I was invited to a private screening by a friend in the American Women's Group. Words cannot express how much I enjoyed this film- but I'm going to try anyway.

Of course there are the obvious correlations-- Julia Child (like me) lived in Paris with her husband for a while, a sejourn that inspired within her a lifelong love of the French and their cooking. Her cooking, as it soon became. Some of my earliest tv memories are of watching her show on PBS (were they re-runs by then?) with my mom. I thought she was funny, especially the voice. Later, as a young woman, the first gift I ever received from my future mother-in-law was a copy of Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The first thing I ever made from the book (and I am not making this up) was Boeuf Bourguignon, which also happens to have been the first thing Child's editor made in order to test the recipes in the work. It was that dish that sealed Julia's fate as America's culinary queen and that sealed mine as a lover of cooking. Unless you have slaved through the steps yourself, you cannot understand the feeling of accomplishment and pride you get with your first taste of the tender beef stewed in red wine and spices. Heaven on a plate, and the credit is all yours (and Julia's, of course).

On to Julie Powell. My sister-in-law gave me her book, the title of which was lent to the movie, for a birthday a few years back. I read it, but was not really impressed with her tone or her voice. In the movie, however, she is lovely. I just fell in love with her- I wanted to be her- I hate that I didn't come up with the idea myself! To spend one whole year, 365 days, cooking your way through Child's masterpiece and then writing about it? Imagine the things you would learn!!!

I think really though that why this movie makes me so happy is because I can identify with both women- Julia in the 50s and Julie now. Both women found their purpose well into their adult lives. For Julia, it was cooking, and through that cooking she found a career as a teacher and writer. For Julie, it too was cooking that gave her the start she needed to find success as an author. It makes me feel better-- being 30 with absolutely no idea what I'm to do with my life isn't the end of the world. I just have to keep looking for what truly makes me happy and make a career out of it.

On my way home tonight, I was walking down the Champs-Elysées in the rain. There were few people out once I got away from the hustle and bustle of the main drag. I felt peaceful, and looking ahead I could see the long line of the famous street lights winking through the mist. It looked just like one of the old photos I've seen a thousand times now on postcards and posters. The moment reminded me that I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to. Whatever I make of my life, I hope I find the same joy that both Julie and Julia got (and continue to get in the case of Julie) from theirs. I think I will. Now, if only I can learn how to de-bone a duck...


  1. Yay! I'm glad you liked it! I was snorting through most of the movie thinking about how much it reminded me of you. I think I even turned to Meg and Leigh more than once and said, THAT'S TOTALLY KATE. Especially Julie.

    It did make me miss you, though.

  2. That movie totally made me want to move to Paris and EAT myself to death!