Sunday, August 9, 2009

Film Bite: Julie & Julia / Wasabi & Peanut

A thousand pardons for the absence of posts! I played host to a visiting friend, and we had a whirlwind foodie-themed weekend together, which included a viewing of the movie Julie & Julia on its opening day.

All you need is love... and butter - Photo by Wasabi Prime and images from Julie & Julia film website

This friend I lovingly call the Angry Peanut, has been like, totally BFF's with Wasabi Prime since college, and quite fittingly, she was the one who gave me a copy of the book several years ago. It was Kismet that Peanut's visit would coincide with the premiere of the film adaptation of Julie Powell's "deranged assignment."

The basis of the story is pretty simple: frustrated (aka unpublished) writer Julie Powell longs for the spark of inspiration in her life, and so she creates a blog that chronicles her year-long adventure of cooking every recipe in the holy tome that is Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. It seems a curious enough challenge, fraught with butter and live crustaceans, but the movie wisely focused less on the daily blogging and more on the relationship parallels between Julie and Eric Powell, and Julia and Paul Child. Amy Adams was ridiculously adorable, as always, and it would be insane not to fall in love with both Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci's performances. I wished there could have been a movie about just Julia and Paul Child, as their well-documented love is a heart's inspiration.

Peanut and I both oohed and ahhhed at the sights and virtual smells of Julia Child's vintage-perfect Paris of the 1950s, and nodded with silent "amen sistah" understanding when Julie Powell's exploits in the kitchen resulted in hot messitude. But I think the most satisfying takeaway from the movie experience was the message that we are nothing without the love and support of those we are lucky to have around us. I read an interview with director Nora Ephron over her thoughts about the movie, and she put it best, saying it was a story about married people. Most romantic comedies are all about the girl getting the guy, and then the credits roll these once-pivotal characters into oblivion. Beyond the food-porn moments of lingering scenes with edible delights, the movie lasered-in on the importance of a life retaining focus through a shared lens.

Sharing the movie with my good friend was a special experience, as I count her as one of the people I hold dear amongst an inner-sanctum of individuals generous with their love and support -- many of which have been a great encouragement for this blog (love and thanks!). I think the movie is a nice reminder of the good eggs one is lucky to have in one's life, so I recommend seeing it with a cherished someone, and then maybe cook them a nice meal to let them know how much you care. ;)

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  1. Aviation Recipe - SCORE! You rock Ms. Prime!!

  2. I agree, also having watched the movie with loved ones make it that much more meaningful.Julia and Paul were an amazing couple. Glad you both had a wonderful time.


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