Can a Movie Change Your Life? "Julie & Julia" Just Might Do That Trick!

Yesterday with a mixed group of friends (men and women), we wound up seeing Julie & Julia in our local “not the best” theater. It was PACKED with people generally over 40.. which I thought was both odd and not so strange given that Julia Child is now dead and it’s all about cooking– or so I thought.
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The more I heard about the movie, the more I became unsure about seeing it. It was interesting in that it’s a movie about two books– or rather 2 authors. Julia Child is/was a noted cook and author of many cookbooks and was known on TV quite well. Julie Powell — is a cubicle worker helping out in NYC post-9/11 and unhappy in her job since she couldn’t get a job in publishing/magazine industry and is unsure of her personal direction. This movie is based on the 2 different lives of 2 real people and yet each would turn to food to find the path that each would have to take.
Typically this would and does sound like chick lit or as my friend noted author (*kisses to you) Lauren Lipton, contemporary women’s literature or even humor. She’s right in using that term because neither the story of Julia Child’s life — of which I had a very sketchy awareness — or that of Julie Powell who I wouldn’t have known about at all –would have been worthy of a movie without their relationship to food and cooking– and how cooking food– and the eating of that food would make you feel. It’s more than just about women– it’s about relationships with men, women, friends, lovers, family, life, work, career, food and cooking.
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Julie cooking a chocolate cream pie– before she starts her writing project.
What’s more interesting is that Julie Powell went in search of a new direction in life by going through Julia Child’s original cook book… and tested each and every single one of her recipes. (Kudos to Powell. I won’t touch liver and there are some things I would rather eat than the entire cookbook) However, the process that binds Julie to Julia in a philosophical, emotional and even spiritual way is via the cookbook and her PBS TV show.
Julie starts writing a blog as a reaction to her group of friends from school who seem to have achieved so much more in life and Julie has been left behind. One of the friends starts a blog and suddenly Jule courtesy of her husband (editor for an archeology magazine) is blogging daily about getting through 500+ recipes in 365 days– and that’s the goal.
Nothing stops here- despite meltdowns– real meltdowns involving cheese or chocolate or butter and emotional ones involving recipes that are trials and tribulations. What does happen — besides the requisite gaining of weight — on both sides of this story which is told side by side in chapters– is that both Julie and Julia find their metier and their metaphor for life in cooking and food. It’s nourishment for the soul as well as the body.
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What Julia Childs gives to Julie Powell is a voice, a reason, a passion and a purpose that drives everyone — friends, family, husband and even herself crazy– to the point of marriage problems.


Where am I going with this review?
It’s slam dunk YOU need to see this. If you are a “foodie” or a food or wine snob, you need to see it. If you are a cook, chef or amateur baker, you need to see this movie. If you are married late in life or while in your 20’s, you should see this movie. If you have questions about where your life is going — or are already amidst a transition that has you really questioning your value and your ability, you *need* to see this movie. If you have one of Julia Child’s cookbooks, you should see this book– you might actually cook a few more things from it.
Even if you have “NO REASON” to see this movie- see it because it’s humor, hilarity and downright fun will have you laughing at odd moments and typical ones.
This is not a movie that’s written to be funny! It’s not a staged comedy a la 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth, Funny People, or any of those stupid movies that are supposed to be funny but really aren’t. (wake up writers, directors and producers and realize that your audience is much sharper and also wider than you realize. 13 is not the median age of your audience!). This movie is funny and carries such emotional impact because it’s true to life. The truth of life — for each woman and those around her– make it funny, poignant and meaningful.
You need to see this movie (and that means you men too, {that includes all you legal, marketing and tech geeks that I speak to often!)
Realize that this movie can give you direction for your life –it can help you find the direction, purpose and keep you on track when you feel lost– or about to derail.
It certainly hit home with me– as I sit here looking an office filled with paper, 2 book proposals to write, posts to write, social media projects to pitch and/or write, I wonder where my life is going– and I found a direction in that movie. (sort of like how the Matrix hit me between the eyes — Matrix 1 that is). It’s about taking charge of my life and getting on with the poaching of the egg of my different goals and dreams. Some will work and some will have to be attempted over and over again until I get them “just right”– a la the poached egg sequence in Julie & Julia.
If there’s anything in that last sentence that makes you wonder what’s going on, there’s a lot going on: in process of writing; in the development and evolution of social media, in my own career and personal life.
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I am hoping that like Julie Powell’s online audience, they wanted to know about the good stuff and the not so great events.
Hopefully you will understand what see my posts of frustration and melt-downs and understand that I too am a human being– not just a fashion editor, beauty editor or a person who knows a slew of people — all of whom are human and have their own foibles. Those who talk to me– particularly those who I interview– find it within themselves to take that leap of faith and share themselves with me (and you don’t always see/hear that part of things) and I share a bit of myself with them.
As Julie Powell deboned that duck with the precision of trusting Julia Child’s perfect tutealage on TV, I am trusting that my path is to do the things I know in my soul I should do– which is write– and share with you some of those things. Julie took a leap of faith for 365 days and wound up a winner– despite some points where she fell flat on her face. You too can learn much from that effort– and attempt it yourself.
It’s something extremely meaningful.
Julie & Julia should probably be seen twice. I think I would probably cry at a couple points during the movie.. and I would highly recommend getting the DVD. If you have the opportunity to hit the Smithsonian and see the Julia Child Exhibit (and I pray it’s still there), go do it! There’s a purpose to life– and part of it is to love, laugh and don’t forget to eat something fabulously delicious .
Stevie Wilson

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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. LA-Story.com appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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