But the real reason I loved this film was more personal. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was Julie.
Julie studied writing at Amherst, but spends Monday through Friday at an administrative job, confined to a cubicle. I studied art, close enough.
Julie laments abandoning the novel she worked on for eight years and feels as if she hasn’t accomplished much in life. There is no unfinished novel in my past, but I do have a long list of incomplete and stalled projects, some of which do involve writing.
Julie loves to cook and finds inspiration in the form of Julia Child. To get out of the rut she is and accomplish something, she challenges herself to prepare the 524 recipes from Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 365 days. Without a deadline, she knows she will doom herself to failure. I am aware I work better with a deadline looming.
To keep herself honest, Julie's husband, Eric, suggests she start a blog. Eventually, Julie will become as obsessed with the blog as with the cooking. I identify with the blogging downward spiral.
At first, you think no one is reading. Next, you receive those first comments from people you don’t know. Then, you worry people will be concerned if you don’t post regularly. Finally, you convince yourself that your readers are depending on you. Julie admits there is an element of self-absorption to it all, and I agree, but if none of us wanted the attention we wouldn’t spend so much time online.
By the end of the film, after watching this person I identified with too much (Julie also declared herself a bitch at one point which, yeah, been there), it did make me think about setting goals and accomplishing them. I have no aspirations to master cooking, at least not to the extent Julie did, especially with so many recipes involving vast quantities of butter which make my arteries clog just thinking about them, but I have things I want to do. Even blogging more regularly. It’s just a matter of me choosing something, setting a timeline, and doing it. And maybe if I have the one big goal, some of the smaller goals will fall into line.
Speaking of smaller goals, my (home) email has been cleaned out and organized - Yahoo inbox, 5 emails and Gmail inbox, 4 emails. Trust me, this is a significant accomplishment.