Welcome to the adventures of a Culinary explorer...

Welcome to the adventures of a Culinary explorer...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Finished Julie and Julia

Like I had promised on Xmas day, I would tell about the food books I finish reading from the truck load of a stash I received under the tree.

The night of 18th January, 2010, I finished reading Julie and Julia by Julie Powell.
The reason I was even interested in picking up the book was because of the movie. I know, I know. Bash me down, book lovers. Movies don't portray the story like a book can, Harry Potter a major example, yada yada yada. But that is exactly why I picked up the book; I wanted to know more, the tiny details the director doesn't feel are worthy enough for the big screen, the personal voice of Julie.
After finishing the book, I was shocked to find that the movie is barely inspired by the book. Julie and Julia the movie may seem like a Cinderella Disney movie with fluff and fantasy and France. Julie and Julia the book is hardcore reality baby. Julie Powell's voice is nothing like what Amy Adams is made to act out. Wild cussing, major (and I mean major) melt-downs, totally out of text anecdotes, Texans, I guess weren't permitted in a 2 hour PG-13 movie.
I remember watching the movie with my brother in the theatre and walking out dazed and warm, giddy with "joy" (yeah Julie, you're not the only one using this word). Julia Child's image was now an enlarged Meryl Streep rather than an enlarged not-an-Oscar-winner old lady. I went home and lay in bed wanting more, wanting to cook and visiting France (well that's been my dream since forever).

With the book, well I had a love and hate relationship with the book. I'd find myself mumbling to Julie Powell to get over her whiney self and snap back into the kitchen. I'd find myself grossed out by her imagery of maggots, cat hair, "goo", and sweat. The anecdotes about her psychotic friends' love lives drove me on the brink of insanity. And I guess that's the trait of a good writer after all, to make the reader feel... well, pretty insane.
I have two different relationships with the book and movie, since they were oh so different. I enjoyed Julia Child's side of the story in the movie which was barely depicted in the book. Julia meeting with her sister, her sister's marriage, Paul's issue with the government, and most importantly, the making of the book by Julia and her two friends, is only shown in the movie. Similarities in the two: You always feel pity for Eric in both, and the essence of it all in the end. The book and the movie made me feel the same way in the last scene, as well as the last page. I dragged the last four pages of the book for a week by reading awfully slow. I didn't want the story to "end". And as Julie Powell would agree, there wasn't an end. The story is living on in my head. I still imagine Julie Powell cooking madly while impersonating Julia Child, cussing her head off, and even finally having a baby girl (I've always imagined them with a baby girl).
I love the movie and book both. I highly recommend them to you. I don't know if Julie is ever going to fall upon this blog (yeah right...), but if you're reading Julie, all I want to say is... Eric is my favorite! Treat him right! Haha and also (watch, I bet you've heard this a baaaaajillion times), you made me believe in my food line all the more. Thank you. =]
For Julie Powell's real blog, visit http://blogs.salon.com/0001399/


Katie said...

Have you read Julie's other book yet? I read an article about it somewhere and I think it's supposed to be about butcher shops or something like that. Don't know. But now at least I want to see the movie due to your post. :)

The Skillet by Henna Bakshi said...

I have not read her other book, sounds interesting!
And you should def check out the movie, cute but not Disney, if that makes sense. =]