Julie, Julia, Love, Creativity, and Butter
I know that I’m the last person in America to see the movie “Julie and Julia”, but I finally saw it today. And I haven’t been this happy about a movie in a long time. I just had to talk about it.
It is so rare to see a movie that tells the story of real people, but it seems that women are particularly stereotyped in movies. This movie could have done that. It could have made a joke out of Julia Child , and the leading 2002 Julie could have been another leading lady cutie and not much more. But instead the two characters were so well-developed and so well-rounded. What a refreshing change!
Both Julie and Julia were intelligent, creative women who willingly and lovingly wanted to be good wives and yet yearned for a creative outlet. Both were saved by food. And not only by food, but by fattening foods, yummy foods, sensual foods, European foods, foods that made Stanley Tucci excited just to see licked off of Meryl Streep’s fingers. The pure sensuality of the food itself is something denied women in America every minute of the day. Julia Child galloped around this movie with an ample behind, a love for butter, and lust for her intelligent and supportive husband that made nap time in the afternoon very creative indeed at the Child house. A perfectly imperfect couple is what most people are. And these imperfect people were savoring every bit that life had to offer through their work, their play, their sleep, their eating, and their lovemaking. What a joy to see that. What a disgrace that we rarely see that!
I’m not sure these two women could have had the love they did for the food and the cooking if they had not loved their husbands the way they did. The movie not only celebrated the spirit of a three dimensional woman, but the creative spirit of nurturance without harping on what a slave a woman is if she cooks. It is possible to want to feed your man delicious things on many levels and not be a slave, a martyr, a robot, or an idiot. And it is also possible to take that love and that creativity and not only share it with him, but share it with the blogosphere, the publishing houses, the tv, the press, and the whole darned world. Love expanded everywhere in this movie.
I never understood my mother as well as I do this moment after seeing this movie. My mom was intelligent, educated, feisty, busy, and as rebellious as they come in matters of being my dad’s “little woman”. She was never that in any way. Yet the gourmet meals kept flying around here as if we were in a five star restaurant all the time. I used to wonder why she did this when we could really just order a pizza a little more often. Pots were banging, cuss words were flying, my dad was being sent hither and yon to get special ingredients not only for large and frequent dinner parties but for every night dinner at home. I remember not once but many times, my mother sending my dad to the beach to go get live crabs so she could make spaghetti and crabs in a perfect Italian fashion. Keep in mind, she was not even Italian. He was. Point taken. Flounder stuffed with crab meat, veal scallopini, linguini and clams,....these things happened all the time at our house. And now I know why. My mom loved my dad. He liked to eat well. he appreciated it. He appreciated her doing it. And she loved him. And in so loving him, she was able to soar creatively in this area and feed everyone else. I wish she had written a book. I wish she could have blogged it. Maybe I’ll do that for her one day!
If you want to see a short bald man and a funny tall woman have a fun life together--if you want to see the hearts of real women explode all over the kitchen, feed your soul and rent " Julie and Julia"!!! And go cook something with alot of butter and do some smoochin'!
c.2010 Lisa Wiffledust