I spent the evening sweating in my perennially overheated fourth floor apartment while knitting some last-minute Christmas gifts, and decided to finally watch Julie & Julia. I’d heard mixed things, and was looking forward to casting my own opinions.
Being in possession of Mastering the Art of French Cooking myself, I fiercely envied Julie Powell her blog idea — cooking her way through 524 classic, time-honored recipes in 365 days — that is, until she reached the aspics chapter (gelatinous meat molds).
It could have been the fact that Meryl Streep (Child) has always struck an uncanny resemblance to one of the most powerful feminine influences in my life, my recently deceased grandmother — especially in the 1940’s garb I find myself drawn to nowadays — but I teared up more than once witnessing the maturation of a woman we should all aspire to be more like, through the eyes of a modern young woman who I found to be much like myself — a poor writer living in what is certainly a far leap from her dream apartment, trying so desperately to feed the people she loves the way women have been feeding each other — and, yes, men and children, too — for centuries.
I couldn’t help but think of my partner when Julia’s husband Paul Child (played by Stanley Tucci) toasted her at their Valentine’s Day party (remember those big, red paper hearts?) “And then I realized…it was Julia. It had always been Julia.” (Cue tears again.)
And Jane Lynch? I never thought I could love that woman in a dress.