Julie & Julia

Julie & JuliaIt is with some interest that I note I watched Julie & Julia this moving this morning with my other half. It was kind of odd thing and to be honest I was skeptical, having seen it on once before and having only watched about three minutes before deciding it was clearly not the movie for me and moving on to something else. However, in retrospect I think I may have erred a bit soon with my hasty judgement. If, on my previous aborted attempt to watch Julie & Julia, I had stuck it out about two more minutes I would have known the movie was actually based on and about a blogging experience. I have to admit, even this time, I was heading out of the room when I was pulled back in about the conversation of writing, blogging, and what subject to use brought me right back.

The movie itself is actually kind of odd, in that is based on two different books and flips back and forth between the two in what seems at times as a parallel timeline. In fact, the two settings vary somewhat in actual time settings, but are generally between roughly forty and fifty years apart. The first of the two books and the one clearly is the most influential part on the movie script is the book by Julie Powell by the name of Julie and Julia with some subtitle about 365 days and 500 and something recipes.

Basically Julie Powell is in a job she does like and gets a great deal of pleasure from cooking. She apparently, also went to college, achieved a degree in something related to writing and has even written a book, but has failed to get it published. During a conversation with her husband, the idea of a blog is launched – which the aim is to get attention so she might get the book published. After tossing around several ideas, the concept of using Julia Childs French cookbook as an experience to blog about daily is hit upon. The rest of course is kind of history and did lead to the book noted above.

During the daily blogging while Julie was writing the blog, she apparently not only wrote about the recipes and results of them, but also explored and researched some of Julia Child’s personality through both her autobiography and other sources. At one point in the movie, as well in the blog, she even starts having thoughts about what Child would thing and even talks to her in some sort of odd virtual friend kind of way. This leads to the movie having what I eventually figured out was flashback scenes to Julia Child’s live. Most of those scenes are derived from her autobiographical work, though clearly, just as Powell found some other sources so too did the movie. There were also some cuts, remade, from the television show Child did in the mid 1960’s.

All in all, it was an okay flick. I admit, it was a little bit toward the girl flick side of things, but then again, with the title and the content you have to expect that. I was interested the parts that were actually the blog more than movie itself and actually came away with some interesting things from that perspective. Clearly, the theme aspect (which is something I do not have, nor plan to here on Mephistos) is really key to having a regularly large following that will let the blog flourish beyond just being a blog. Of note though, the blog itself is no longer maintained. In fact, there are a couple of other blogs Julie Powell has done, but I could find none with a post new then about April 2010. There was a second book though, and the title seems to suggest it was even more about the blog experiment and how that balanced in with life, marriage, work, and other things and the impact it had on them for better and worse.

Oh, and just in case you are wondering – the movie is a year or two old now.  I saw it on the Encore network, where I am sure it will play a few more times in the next few weeks.

** – Image is from promotional materials for the Julie & Julia movie.