It’s supposedly a tale of two tarts — one, the most celebrated and accomplished chef in the world (played by one of the most celebrated and accomplished actress in the world), and the other a — well, less accomplished secretary who decides to learn how to cook and blog at the same time. Julie & Julia is supposedly a chronicle of Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and Mr. Julia Child (Stanley Tucci)’s 1940s-50s stint as foreign diplomats in Paris, peppered in with 45 minutes to an hour of Julie Powell (Amy Adams) cooking and blogging.
There are, essentially, two impressive things about this movie: 1) it’s the first major motion picture based on a blog, and 2) despite being a complete shoe-in for success (any half-decent subject matter + Nora Ephron + Meryl Streep = dolla dolla bills, y’all), it has blown the souflee lid off of the world of the foodie. As we here at Reject HQ nosh on what we can only hope is leftover Hamburger Helper, those who live, breathe, and blog food are boiling.
Sacre bleu! Seems like Sony invited some but not all of the upper echelon of floggers (which I just decided stands for food bloggers) to the press junket and early press screenings. (FSR? We screened it, yes. But junket? No way. Those Sony people have seen the damage we can do to a craft services table.) These reviewers were hand-picked, which netted potentially buttered-up reviews of the film.
Is this spin control? Is this brilliant marketing? Is this spoon-feeding an already percolating food crowd with an appertif? Or is this a recipe for disaster?
Read some of the buzz, and you tell us:
Roger Moore of The Orlando Sentinel:
“[T]here hasn’t been an “amen chorus” of endorsement from that fractious lot. Apparently comic-book fans, horror fans and “American Idol” acolytes have nothing on food bloggers when it comes to invective and scorching their own.”
The Food Section:
“You watch Julie, but you root for Julia.”
Rucass, a commenter at Eater.com:
“I’m going to be the first to say “Yawn”, what a boring sounding movie, and a bunch of cooks and writers and even more wannabes latching on to this snoozer.”
A source at Page Six:
“Julie & Julia [. . .] won’t tackle [. . .] how Powell nearly wrecked her own marriage by having an affair with a close friend. [. . .] Some insiders speculate Ephron purposely stayed away from Powell’s confession that she had the extramarital affair to keep audiences rooting for her. ‘She ended up having an affair after her husband, who was portrayed as a saint in the book, stood by her for a year while she was cooking her way through Child’s book.’
Newsweek.com writes an article entitled “Stop Hating Julie Powell, Please”:
“In the seven years since Powell started her blog, the premise seems to have gone from Julie and Julia to Julie vs. Julia, with Julia winning.”
Gawker.com finds some of the snark with its “Prissy Food Bloggers Hate Food Blogger Movie”.
Virginia Willis chimes in with: Julia and Julie: Yes, The Swap is Intentional (negative!)
Julia Child calls Julie Powell’s blog a ‘stunt’ on EatMeDaily.com.
And, just for fun, a few jewels from @lrherm, who was livetweeting a screening event:
- “Nora Ephron on statement film makes about food: nothing revolutionary, not asking you to take position against corn.”
- “highlight: listening to bloggers argue ‘whether film geeks or comic book geeks are geekier’. Jury’s still out.”
It certainly is.