Blog of a Million Dreams

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Julie and Julia

I just finished the book, "Julie and Julia" by Julie Powell. If you read my earlier blog posting, I reviewed the movie and gave it a thumbs up for Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and a thumbs down for Julie (Amy Adams).

The book is better than the movie, although it does drag at times.

I have to say, the book is also somewhat different.

In the movie, Amy Adams comes across as an East Coast spoiled brat with a constant sour look. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked the main character in the book much, much more.

First, Julie of the book is a Texan who yearns to be a New Yorker. When I think of Texans, I think of nitty gritty, hardscrabble, 'git it done folks. And I think that Texas-ness came through in the book, but it definitely did not in the movie. Texan Julie Powell is a lot more likable in her book than East Coast Amy Adams is in the movie.

The other characteristic of the main character that I liked was that Julie Powell didn't shy away from disclosing her flaws; (to name a few) egg donation soley for greed (oooh Julie better to give away your big toe than your eggs), swearing, being a democrat and fears of becoming/being insignificant. By letting it all hang out, Julie of the book is relatable. Julie of the movie is not, since the movie just focuses on all of her whining and doesn't disclose any of her flaws in any depth. And in the movie, her husband is a saint. In the book, he's much more human.

She writes of hearing her biological clock ticking and how her husband just doesn't get it. She writes of late, late night cooking fests (for a year) and shit filled backed up plumbing. She writes of clothes that don't fit, meals that taste horrid and dismembering animal body parts.

The book really was about Julie and not so much about Julia Child. And that was okay, because it made sense...it was about Julie Powell attempting to make her life work. The movie, however, should've focused on Julia Child. Or, really, had better casting. I could see Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts in this role. Amy Adams did not wear the role well.

But on to the book. It was interesting, if not TMI at some points. And towards the middle of the book, it really dragged and I considered putting it down. I don't think the book will have staying power because it isn't especially well written but it's not written badly either. As blogs become more mainstream and blogging is not longer considered so 'avant garde', perhaps this book will lose it's appeal. But it is worth reading now, especially if you've seen the movie already.

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