Raise your hand if you saw the movie Julie & Julia. What? You missed it? I consider it “a must see” for all bloggers. It will instill in you all over again that desire for the elusive satisfaction of being a successful blogger. It’s going to inspire thousands of folks to start blogs expecting fame and fortune and a movie deal … within a year.
Don’t worry. It will come out on DVD soon enough and you can rent it on Netflix. My Sweet Spousal Unit took me to see it at a local “Cinema Grill,” where you can eat a meal and watch a movie just like you were sitting in your own home.
Well, maybe not exactly as if you were in your own home. You can’t sit there in your underwear, but on the up-side no furry felines will jump in your lap while you eat. True, somebody you don’t know left their own germs all over the table (but, it’s OK, because you can’t see it in the dark).
The basic premise of the movie is this: A blogger named Julia Powell writes a blog about cooking every single recipe in chef Julia Child’s book called Mastering The Art of French Cooking. She cooks 524 recipes in 365 days. That theme is interwoven with the story of Julia Child’s life in France at the beginning of her culinary career.
I confess I was a bit disconcerted to find myself wolfing down a big, honkin’, greasy hamburger with chili cheese fries while watching Julie try to master Julia’s recipe for “Bœuf bourguignon”. But, then I remembered that “Bœuf bourguignon” is just
Pretentious French for “Beef Stew.” What’s the big deal about a recipe for beef stew? Heck, open a can of Dinty Moore and throw it in a bowl, slap some salsa on top, and stick it in the microwave. You’re good to go!
My husband didn’t care much for the storyline about the blogger, but he was most impressed with Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Julia Child, and I must admit it was very excellent. You can see snippets of it on the movie trailer.
[Digression: Why do they call it a "movie trailer," since they show an hour's worth of these advertisements before the stinkin' movie?]
Yes, Meryl almost became Julia Child, but I’m sure that Julia would not have approved of the performance. Although Streep was good, I still prefer Dan Akroyd’s classic impersonation of her (excuse the short “trailer” before the video).
As for me, the story of the blogger, Julie Powell, was uncomfortably familiar. She really did do the Julie/Julia Project. I squirmed in my seat as I watched her become obsessed with blogging, because I’ve gone through the same thing. It’s so easy to get caught up in writing something for the internet — to the point of ignoring people who are right there in the room with you!
However, Julie’s efforts paid off. She became wildly successful and is now a published author. I’m not familiar with that part of the process. I tried to figure out what she did that made her blog a success. Sure, she’s a good writer, but so are tons of other (less successful) bloggers.
She peppered her blog with a lot of salty language (get it? “pepper?” “salt?” I made a pun and used a cooking reference!). She used “The F Word” a lot, and I just can’t do that. The
best worst I can manage to write on the internet is “Fudge.” That just makes me hungry.
Maybe it’s that project of 365 days of cooking French food? I have no desire to cook my way through a French cookbook. Those people use butter instead of bacon grease! That’s nuts! But, maybe I could blog 365 days of recipes from the “Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender’s Guide?” Would that be a winner?
What a great idea! For a year I can blog my way through a book about alcohol. I bet I’d lose my inhibitions about profanity on the blog! And, I can follow it with a year of blogging my way through a Twelve Step Program.
Now we’re cooking!