Monday, February 15, 2010

Julie & Julia

OK, I admit, I don't just read.  I also watch.  Movies, that is.  I insisted on seeing The DaVinci Code before reading the book.  I insisted on reading the Harry Potter's before seeing the movies (and as of such, we've not yet seen whichever one was last out in the theaters - I am 2 behind in that series, so it must be #6?  Is it overly apparent I've lost interest?  ~sigh~).  Some books I am not interested in reading, deciding the movie is sufficient - as would be the case of "Julie & Julia."

The movie.

Let me explain...  I saw the book in the stores, complete with pictures of Amy Adams & Meryl Streep on the covers.  Hmmm, loves me a good book and thinks Meryl Streep can do no wrong, I pick up a copy, read the back cover and know instantly, "this is not for me."

I am not a "feel good reader."  Sassy, silly Chick Lit falls far down my priority pole, HOWEVER, I will, occassionally, engage.  Usually out of necessity because I've worn myself flat-out reading too many Dennis LeHane's and John Sandford's in a row and need something light and mindless to give my sensation overload a break.

This was not the case with "Julie & Julia."  I put it down, turned away and indulged my book buying habit on other titles.  However, with the movie trailers shortly thereafter, and all the hooha over the opening day, "Julie & Julia" was, pretty much, everywhere.

Somewhere along the way, I looked into it again.  Again I decided, "this is NOT for me."  I know me pretty well and I know, with this, I was right.  And honestly, to this day, I really don't see how a book about following recipes can truly be interesting...  Would a book about a reader writing about what she's read be any better???  Uh, no, it would not.  Since I am such (a reader writing about what she's read) I can say that honestly (and, no, I'm not fishing for compliments, 'k?).  But in my investigation, something sparked an interest.  A flicker of an interest.  Just enough of a "ting" to have me contemplating skipping out on work for a few hours to catch the premiere.  Which is what I did.

What was the "ting"?  It was the word "blog."  This girl wrote a blog.  An interesting enough blog to get readership, to get a book contract, to get a MOVIE DEAL.  I had to know more.

So, I cleared my afternoon calendar on the fateful Friday of the Atlanta premiere.  I found the closest theater - less than 10 miles from my office, WTH?.  Start time was a little after 1p.  I breezily walked past the receptionist, casually said I had some errands to run and would be a couple of hours.  See her in a bit & would be on blackberry if she needed me.  Then I headed out.

So exciting to be bad and skip work!  So exciting to go to a movie ALONE.  At 1p in the afternoon.  The theater was not empty, but it wasn't full.  There was a guy sitting behind me that was also alone.  A group of older women met there, all giggly and beaming, with copies of the book in hand (a book club, perhaps?).  Some people had cameras, including a guy I thought might be with the media.  OH CRAP!  Are you kidding me?  All I needed was to be caught on film standing in line for the 1p premiere of "Julie & Julia" in the middle of a work day!  For once I was relieved to be invisible, ignored, inconsequential, unnoticed (that doesn't happen often; I usually pout for days when I'm so blatantly disregarded, but today it was a blessing). 

Settled in, blackberry on vibrate (I dropped it once & couldn't find it in the dark!), I eagerly waited the start of this "lesson" I was about to learn:  how to be a successful blogger! 

Question answered (Just write.  Well, huh.  What do you know?).  Giddy from being bad, complete (still giddy over it - feel like I pulled one over on everybody, heehee - including my husband, who to this day, does not know I went to see that movie by myself, hahahahahahaha).  Happy with my decision:  yes.  And no.

I didn't "get" it.  Loved Meryl Streep, thought she did a wonderful job.  I smiled thru every scene with her in it - every one!  That movie could have been about nothing but Julia Child, starring Meryl Streep, and I would have left the theater in love with Julia Child and on a quest to Master the Art of French Cooking.  Amazing.  Simply amazing!

What I didn't get was Julie.  Which is a shame because it was really Julie I went to "get."  She was the successful blogger, author, now movie-deal-awardee.  She is who I was looking for inspiration from...  So what happened?  I don't know.  Can't blame Amy Adams.  I think she's delightful - an enchanting princess, a perfect Amelia Earhart... but I gotta tell ya, she did nothing for me in this role.  I did not like Julie.  I did not bond with her.  She had no charisma, no warmth.  She fell flat on the screen.  She was too easily hysterical, overly egotistical, totally unreasonable, so unappreciative and undeserving of her devoted husband...  and please tell me, what was the big deal about boning a duck?  I mean, really.

I'm not disillusional.  I know it's not easy to cram so much - especially 2 key personalities - into a 2hr time frame, but considering my reaction to Julia vs my reaction to Julie, I'm thinking "something's missing here."  And then, over the next few weeks, to hear my mommy-friends and other cohorts just gush over the movie, some seeing it several times...  well, I just cringe.  And when they wanted my take on it - expecting me to gush right back...  uh, not so easy.  Time for my Oscar worthy performance.  I say, "I thought it was cute."  or "I did enjoy it."  Cuz I did.  Skipping work, stealing time, getting away from it all for a few hours - definitely enjoyable. 

Feeling cheated I swung by the bookstore on my way back to the office - at 3:30p on a Friday afternoon, whatever was I thinking? - to consider buying the book "one more time."  I picked it up, read the back and put it down again.  However, I did linger longer over a copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child and if not for hefty price tag, I may very well have bought it.

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