Lofty Expectations

As a writer, foodie, and Nora Ephron fan, the new movie, Julie & Julia seemed to be made for me. I’m the exact demographic. I expected to love it. I wanted to love it.

Maybe my expectations were too high, but I left mildly disappointed.

The beginning more than whetted my appetite. The food was beautiful, the scenery a feast for the eyes.

But somewhere in the last twenty minutes, the movie floundered for me. Part of it, I’m sure, is it’s “’based on a true story.” The writers and producers can’t change too many details. But there was a carefully worded disclaimer at the end that even though the movie was based on real life events and people, there were liberties taken and then it finished with the usual, “any similarities to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.”

Excuse me? If a movie based on real people’s lives shows what really happened, it “just happened?”

If it’s fictionalized, why not end with a bang, something satisfying as Beouf Bourguignon? It really just petered out, like no one knew how it ended for real, so they decided to walk off the set and let the audience figure it out.

Alternate endings I’d have loved:

*  Julia Child reading the blog and critiquing it. Especially about Julie saying, regarding unmolding aspic: “The bitch lied.”

*  Julie Powell getting a PBS series for an updated edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

*  Paul Child returning to spying for the Food Network.

*  A deathbed scene between Julia and Julie.

Something better than Julie leaving a pound of butter at the Smithsonian’s altar to Julia. Come on, people. I know you can do better.


Today I prayed for Joyce, Shawna, Dee, Mona, Jeff Zucker

Currently reading: The House on Olive Street

Last movie: Reign Over Me

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