Julie & Julia – and blogging

It’s difficult not be intrigued about a movie about a blogger. Blog. Book contract. Movie. It piques your interest. Especially if you are a blogger. Doubly intriguing if the movie is written by your (imaginary) best friend, Nora Ephron.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve re-read Ms. Ephron’s Heartburn and read Julie Powell’s Julie & Julia and Julia Child’s My Year in France. Maybe all books, when you come right down to it, are about transitions. If your story arcs, after all, something must happen. Something changes. And you work from there. Your husband cheats while you’re pregnant. Or you can’t get pregnant. Or you move to France. Or Queens.

And you stand in front of the mirror, real or figurative, and you try to sort out how to be yourself now. And how to be yourself next. In these books, and in this movie, we get to watch stories of women creating themselves. Successfully. In Julie Powell’s case, with a blog. In her book Ms. Powell says of the word blog, “Well, it is sort of a silly word, I guess.” I wholeheartedly agree.

A silly word, but not a silly concept especially as it can be the way from there to here. It’s a very good movie. There are many very memorable Ephron moments that I will not spell out here. It is not a romantic comedy. It is a movie that has as its backdrop two stories about marriage. Ephron said in Heartburn something like, “once you’re married nothing really happens.” (I can’t find the exact quote because I have a library book and I can’t turn down the pages of a library book.) Which in a lot of ways is true. And the main character, Rachel, is a cook book author who has her own show, but says something like, “people say I write cook books, but they are not really about cooking.” The same sentiment can be applied to My Life in France and Julie & Julia. They are about cooks, but not really about cooking. They are about finding the thing that makes your soul sing.

Julie & Julia opens tomorrow.

All images courtesy of Sony Pictures; photography by Jonathan Wenk except for final image which is by David Giesbrecht.
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35 thoughts on “Julie & Julia – and blogging

  1. In all things be true to thy self. It is in making our dreams come true while being real and heartfelt. Our blogging is really sharing who we are with the world (even if a small part of the world)

  2. Hi Mrs.Blandings!

    I am the one who claimed you were my clone….you keep saying things I say! or have said!

    It is eerie!

    Here is a new one….Julia Child was my cousin by marriage……I met her when I was 9. She had not started her tv show…in fact; TV was in its infancy. I was 9 in 1956. She was tall…..and loving..and warm. She had this mellifullous voice she retained until she died……

    "HELLO COUSIIIIIN!" (think music!) She would call across the restaurant…..or wherever.

    She welcomed our daughter to interview her for a magazine!

    I am so looking forward to seeing this movie…which seems like it captures her unique and wonderful personality….and her passion for life and its gifts!

    Penny

  3. Sorry..me again. That is exactly what she said; actually. "Find out what you love…..to do…..and what makes you happy doing!! Then get really good at it……..
    That will make a great life!!"

    I could not make that up.

    We just adopted a rescue dog who arrived from Witchita.

    So now we are related.

    I will send pictures of our divine dog from Kansas.

  4. Julia's roquefort balls sure make my soul sing.
    My blog as well as countless others do too –
    A perfect recipe for connecting and dishing.
    pve

  5. Very true, aside from beng one of my favorite books, it was a life lesson in doing what one loves adn the money will follow…

  6. I so agree that it is intriguing that a person could weblog, aka blog, their way into a book contract. I have cooked with Julia Child since watching her on OETA and getting my absolutely first recipe typewritten from the station when I was 9-10-11-12, memory escapes me! But, I never would have thought of cooking my way through the book, then chronically my experience on my blog. At least one of my alter ego's below ought to do something like that, Elizabeth Lane fancies herself a cook!
    Paula ~ Mise en scène and also Elizabeth Lane

  7. I loved this post. I was lucky to have seen a screening of Julie and Julia last night, and I loved it. I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments.
    Larry G.

  8. Penny – I am never, not once ever, sad to see you here. Comment as often and as enthusiasically as you like.

    I love the coincidences. Another? My birthday is the same as Julia Child's and Mr. B's is the same as her husband Paul's.

  9. Larry – I am glad to hear that as I am hearing mixed reviews. Sometimes I think the critics forget that not every movie needs to rip your heart out. Sometimes we just like to be well entertained.

  10. I have not been to the movies in a long time, so looking forward to this one. I grew up watching Julia cook, she shaped cooking for this country. The clip that they show with the lobster kicking off the top of the pot, happened to me. Never cooked a lobster since.

  11. Birthdays charted in the stars. Love that. Julia played such a big part of my learning to cook. Tip: if you ever try her suggestion for making crisp French bread by throwing ice onto the bottom of a very hot oven, be forewarned. It may buckle the floor of the oven. Also, do not as she later warned, try to dry out your newspaper in what was then the newfangled microwave. Yes, it did catch on fire. My all time favorite show was when she was showing where the filet came from a cow. After cutting out the filet she flung than 1/4 side of beef to a table behind her and said, "So little filet. So much beef!" And who could forget Billy Crystal's tribute to her, "Any woman who can hold liver in her hand and palpitate is my kind of woman." And so she was.

  12. Can't wait! Sunday when we get back from the beach is Mrs. Child's birthday. I hope to celebrate by cooking something appropriate. If I've got the energy. If not, I'll fake it, just for the sheer … er… joy of cooking (hmmm.)

  13. I just bought our tickets – we'll be at the 7:15 viewing tomorrow night and I can hardly wait! I told Chance he could pick our dinner restaurant, but that the movie had already been decided on. Thanks for continuing to pique my interest!!! I wish I had time to read these books… this summer it just wasn't in the cards… I'm doing good to read blogs!

  14. I once worked in an ice cream shop and waited on Julia Child. Yes, she was very tall…taller than her husband. As for what she ordered–coffee frozen yogurt.

  15. I just think we're all starved for a movie about two people who love each other and love being with each other. Aside from that lovely thought. I'M HUNGRY!!!

  16. First time visitor to your blog. Love your header!

    I've been wanting to see Julie and Julia since I saw the first trailer for it.

    Going to check out your prior posts.

  17. Julia attended the same HS (once a girls only school) my kids attend(ed). Would love a glimpse into what she must have been like as a young girl…

  18. Mrs. Blandings,

    While everyone is anxiously waiting to get into this movie, and with good reason, I am getting a small, but significant, thrill in being caught up in this moment of Julia's resurrection these many yeas later. So many stories, anecdotes and memories to enshrine her even more.

    There's a definite sisterhood surrounding this film and I'm not surprised that you felt the urge to absorb yourself in the books of Julie and Julia or the films of Nora Ephron. They make up the essence, the fabric, the life force of who these women are and were just as our blogs do us.

    It matters not to me what the reviewers say. It matters that these women lived and enriched us with their genius. And if, in our interest and curiosity about them, we manage to stumble into finding the thing we are best at, devoting ourselves to it with complete and utter abandon, then we are all fulfilled beyond expectation.

  19. I can't wait to see it. Julie's mother is a talented designer in Austin. She did a little bit of work for me on my first house and spoke frequently of visiting her daughter in NY.

  20. I was hoping to see it yesterday but alas can't seem to get the hubs inspired. It's a must do by myself next week. Cannot wait!
    Life truly is finding that something that makes your soul sing!

  21. I have been waiting to see this movie because I like romantic comedies, but especially because it is a story about a blogger who wanted to do something more with her life. I got the book and started to read it, but I am only a 1/4 of the way through it and the movie is here already. I guess I will just have to see the movie. Not sure if I will finish the book.

  22. I loved the way you write and your blog is so easy to read, because of the font and the pale background, always entertaining and informative. As for the movie…no chance last night, there was a line-up around the corner. I'll try today or tomorrow again.
    I am intrigued by Penelope, she has no profile and her blog is 5 years old…I would love to know more about her. Her surname is Italian too!

  23. just saw the movie…delicious. I'm relatively new to the blog world and have felt my life changing as I write each post…the insights, the new friends, the creativity of finding the perfect word or picture. Looking forward to where I end up.

  24. I am enjoying reading your blog. I just found it recently when you posted articles about the Julie and Julia production designer (Mark Ricker) and set decorator (Susan Bode). Mark is my son, and if I do say so myself he did a fantastic job designing those sets! Thanks for those great articles! And to everyone, go see the movie. It's great!
    Susan

  25. Loved this movie! I totally have delusions of making Boef Bourguignon sometime soon. (Even though I got lost on the very first line of Julia's recipe–what is a lardon anyway?).

  26. I agree perfectly with your assessment of the movie. And Nora Ephron is pretty much my imaginary best friend too!

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