Julie & Julia: Food for Thought

Julie & Julia

I could write about all the usual things that one might say about the movie Julie & Julia like it’s funny, you’ll want to go home and cook something when it’s over, and that you will be incredibly hungry when you leave the theatre and they would all be true. Instead, however, I want to lift up some themes related to our common humanity that ran through the film. The first is our desire to be known and valued for who we are in ways that recognize our giftedness and that go beyond stereotypes and other peoples’ expectations for us. Julie faces this issue with those she deals with at work, with her mother, and with her friends and struggles to convey who she is beyond their limited views of her. Julia, on the other hand, finds herself living in another culture and because of language barriers finds it difficult to express her thoughts and passions as well as facing the gender limitations of the late 40′s and early 50′s. We feel the frustrations of both women as their stories unfold throughout the film.

The second theme that weaves it’s way through the film is the stress and strain of relationships that we face as we fight to bring to expression in creative ways who we are as people. Julie contends with the tension created while trying to meet the goal she has set for herself and at the same time maintain her relationship with her husband and hold down a less than fulfilling full-time job. Julia must negotiate changes of residence because of her husband’s job, one of her co-workers on the cookbook not pulling her fair share, and having a vision for something which few others embrace. These themes, as well as others, are what give this film its pathos. It’s not an “action” film. It’s not a film that is intense with devastating emotional highs and lows. It’s a film that reflects the quiet pathos of our lives as we search for meaningful connections with others that allow us to remain true to ourselves. “Don’t be afraid.”

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3 Responses to “Julie & Julia: Food for Thought”
  1. This was a film that I saw simply because I love to cook and I love Meryl Streep. I purposely did not read any reviews because I was sure I was going to enjoy it and I didn’t want anything to taint my experience. I often rate a movie by how many times I check my watch. I never once considered what time it might be and I think the movie is 2 hours long. I love the parallels you bring up here and how they were presented in the film. Thanks for your impressions!

    • faithfulfoodie says:

      I saw it for the same reasons as you. I loved the movie Chocolat, too. I purposely did not read other reviews before I wrote mine in order not to be swayed from my own impressions!

  2. Kathy Sharp says:

    I loved this movie. Saw it as a Girls’ Night with ladies from church. Very fun. I was ready to go again the next night!

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