The liberal pieties didn’t bother me in Julie & Julia, because they are so inevitable in a Hollywood film.
No, here’s what bothered me: Julie is a deeply unattractive parasite on the success of a beloved character/cookbook writer who is actually interesting, particularly when played by Meryl Streep.
It’s hard making a movie about writers because . . . well, what do we do? We sit around and write. Not very cinematographic. Even Julia Child is a stretch. Without 1950s Paris, where would this movie be?
And Julie is not even a writer. She’s a blogger. Half this movie we’re just watching as Julie wines, dines, and whines interminably. Occasionally, for variety, Julie picks a pointless, emotionally claustrophobic and self-involved fight with her husband. (Ah, the spice of life!)
The dramatic arc of the narrative is about How Julie Learns to Love Herself and Others through Cooking and Blogging. In the cinematic climax, she toasts her husband, using the very same heartfelt words Julia Child’s husband once used to toast Julia.
Yecch. Was there no Hallmark store nearby?