Yes, it’s a chick flick.
I must have been the only blogger on earth to not know that Julie Powell blogged her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking , an endeavor that brought her fame and movie rights. This is yet another thing (like coming up with Ninja Turtles action figures named after Renaissance artists) I wish I had thought of first; would blogging my way through Cocina Criolla bring me movie rights? And, if so, would J-Lo want to star in it?
But I digress.
The movie is two stories in one, Ms Powell’s, and Mrs. Child.
What a revelation it was.
While I have been known to do Julia Child’s “Bon appetit!” falsetto at times (two glasses of Malbec help), watched her on TV, and bought The Book (no way I’d cook all 524 recipes, thank you) I knew very little about Julia Child. It turns out Julia was a very strong woman who worked for the [warning: annoying audio starts when you click on the next link] Office of Strategic Services – the movie doesn’t dwell into that – during war, traveled the world, married a great guy and had a fabulous marriage, and persevered in bringing about a literary (and culinary) masterpiece.
Best of all, Julia was resilient, fun, and terrific.
Compared to larger-than-life Julia, poor Julie comes across as self-absorbed and whiney. Paul Child is interesting, strong, and supportive; Julie’s husband pales by comparison. The movie also takes a few jabs at Republicans, a distraction that has nothing to do with anything other than perhaps Paul Child‘s career in the Cold War years.
In all, you wish the movie had more Julia and Paul.
Purists will also notice that the movie’s boef bourguignons (there are at least three) have lots of carrots and celery cooking in the stew, while the recipe in The Book (volume 1, page 316) only has 1 sliced carrot. Julia’s TV recipe in the first show of The Frech Chef omitted the carrot altogether,