Sunday, August 09, 2009

Julie & Julia (****)

Julie & Julia. 123 mins. PG-13. Written and Directed by Nora Ephron. Starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, and Jane Lynch.

Arriving in theaters in late August, and targeting the ever-underserved demographic of adult women, Julie & Julie does a fine job of extending Meryl Streep's hot streak and giving audiences a refreshing, totally enjoyable diversion. Streep is fantastic as Julia Child, nailing the accent and giving a full-bodied performance without ever stooping to caricature. Adams is equally good as Julie Powell, a modern-day blogger who takes it upon herself to cook all 524 recipes of Julia Child's french cooking book in one year. The movie jumps back and forth between the two stories - Child in 1949 France; Powell in 2002-03 New York, and writer-director Nora Ephron does a good job of keeping things moving along, never staying on either story for too long. Streep's portion of the movie is probably the more interesting, if only because she's so darn good as Child and makes her such an engaging screen character. Because Julie and Julia never met in real life, the ending lacks a satisfying wrap-up and too often, the movie strains to put these two characters in parallel situations. But it's hard to complain too much when there's so much delicious food on screen. You'll leave the theater hungry, wanting to go home and break out a bottle of wine - that's what I did anyway. The wine was delicious, and so is this movie. If you think it's just a chick flick, think again.



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