Julie and Julia is the latest from Nora Ephron (Bewitched, Sleepless in Seattle), who read about Julia Child's life in France and how she became the first superstar of cooking and said, "This woman is a fascinating, complex, lovable character and her story is extraordinary, but that's not enough to sustain a movie. What I need is a frivolous parallel plot line!" So Nora — who loves parallel plot lines — turns to Julie Powell's 2005 book Julie and Julia, about Powell's plan to follow every recipe in Child's landmark 1961 cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, within 365 days, blogging about her mission along the way.
Slapping together the story of a one-of-a-kind figure who accomplished something grand with the year-long hobby of a mostly pleasant, but self-absorbed New Yorker is a big mistake. Julie and Julia manages to simultaneously lionize and minimize Julia Child, while making its other lead character look petty and attention-starved. Meryl Streep has a field day creating her version of the wonderfully earthy Child, a hulking 6-foot-2 woman with an oddly melodic voice and a unique mix of charm and determination. Stanley Tucci is a treat as Julia's husband. Amy Adams does her best as the blogger. 122 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes a commentary track and a making-of feature.