Asta 2

'Julie & Julia'

This weekend I saw Julie & Julia which ranks as one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. Amy Adams will likely earn her third Oscar nomination; Meryl Streep her hundred and third nomination. Nora Ephron may get a nod for adapted screenplay. It’s impressive she could adapt two books into two separate storylines, yet make a seamless film. Though, the women’s lives do have parallels – both had loving, supportive husbands, aspirations that many laughed at, and a deep desire to see their passions in print, to name a few – and the stories eventually coalesce.

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.
  • Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
I saw Julie and Julia this weekend and really liked it too. I know a lot of the reviews have been a little down on the Julie half of things, but after seeing it, all I could think was that said reviewers clearly had not spent enough time on the internet to understand. Her and her coworker high-fiving when she got fifty-odd comments? Hilarious, and true too.
I usually avoid reviews until after I see a movie, unless I'm on the bubble with the film and need convincing one way or another. I am curious now to read the critics problems with Julie's side of the story. As you point out, it might be a case of not spending much time on the internet or not being familiar with the blogging community. I guess I can see why people, particularly older people, could see her story as uninteresting (recreating Julia's recipes and blogging about it - Julia herself didn't seem to understand it), but I think Julie's story will resonate with many (younger) people, more so than Julia's.

I actually wish we were able to see more of Julie's relationship with the coworker since she seemed aware of the blog from the beginning. None of my coworkers know the extent of my online activity! ;)
I was already looking forward to this movie and planning to see it later this week, but strangely I hadn't even thought about the fact that part of the story centers around Julie's online activities, so now I'm even more interested in it!
I did find the cooking part interesting, especially since I have a desire to learn more about cooking, but it's the blogging that hooked me. And it was nice that the film didn't take it as a joke, but the serious business that it is. ;)
You studied art at uni? I'm intrigued :) What drew you towards art as a subject for higher education? Is it related to the time you spent working in the print shop?
If I had to to do over again...well, I could do it over again, but really don't want to...I would probably go to a college with a more diversified program rather than an art school. Basically, I was always good at art and really didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. Not surprising at age eighteen. College should give you the opportunity to explore different subjects and find out which you like best and want to make a career of, problem was I had issues at the time. I was extremely shy, had social anxiety, and was pretty much petrified of leaving home and being on my own. So, we have a really good art school here in town and it was the easiest and least stress inducing choice for me. If I was then who I am now, I would have made different choices.

After graduating with a fine arts degree, I didn't have many options. Professional artist = poverty. Teaching has never interested me, plus I was still dealing with the socialization thing. At my mother's suggestion, applied at a local frame shop/gift store/gallery and, with my degree, they snapped me up. I was there for two and half years, while I learned quite a bit, the company screwed over it's employees every chance it could.

How I ended up working in accounting at a law firm is another long story. ;)