“What do you think a blog is? It’s just ‘me me me’ day after day!”
Julie & Julia is not a wedding movie. It has a wedding in it, so it gets in on a technicality. But it is a movie about two things very relevant to HitchDied: blogging, and marriage.
To borrow Sady Doyle’s expression, Julie & Julia illustrates “the reedeming power of Blog.” Look, my blog is not going to get me a book deal, I’ll never be featured in the New York Times, no Oscar-nominated actress will ever be portraying me on screen. But, without getting too hokey on you, blogging has changed my life. I love my blog! I want to draw little hearts around it with an Internet pen. So it’s great to see a movie address the “redeeming power of Blog,” even though it isn’t the most cinematic of subjects. And the “Julie” part of Julie & Julia does a fantastic job of depicting how a blog can help not only with getting through a project (be it taking on a cookbook’s worth of recipes or throwing a wedding) but with getting through LIFE.
It also shines a light on the peculiar way blogs and relationships can interact. Raise your hand if you’ve ever had your partner say, “DO NOT write about this in your blog!” I hope me and Movie Julie aren’t the only ones.
Because the second subject in Julie & Julia I want to address is its depiction of the title characters’ marriages. Julia Child and her husband Paul, played by Greatest Living Actress Meryl Streep and No Minor Talent Stanley Tucci, are played as having the greatest marriage anyone could hope for. They seem to truly enjoy each other, which is a pleasure to watch. And they support each other in chasing their dreams, even when their careers hit stumbling blocks.
Sadly, in my watching of the movie, Julie and her husband Eric’s relationship stands in stark contrast to Julia and Paul’s. I am not sure how much my interpretation is influenced by the outside knowledge that the couple
is no longer married [EDIT: as it turns out, they might still be married? I don’t really know, and it’s probably not my business, memoir about infidelity aside]. But where Paul is steadfast in his support for Julia’s, Eric is all over the place. He suggested blogging to Julie, and is shown helping her with various recipes (most importantly the “murder of an innocent crustacean” required by lobster thermidor), and for her birthday buys her a string of pearls so she can further emulate her idol. But then there are the scenes where he resents the attention she devotes to blogging, and judges her self-importance regarding her readership, and heatedly tells her he can’t wait for her project to end and wishes he’d never suggested it. By film’s end he’s swung back to supportive about the blog, talking Julie through a meltdown over Julia Child’s negative response to her blog. But I see boredom etched on his face. Maybe the character is just inconsistently written and acted. But knowing that real-world Julie and Eric divorce [EDIT: cheat on each other] made it hard not to look for cracks in the relationship on film. Especially when it is sharing a movie with the best marriage ever:
All right, on to the wedding. It’s only a brief scene, but it still looks like a pretty awesome wedding:
Wow. I know it is a fictionalized depiction of a wedding that happened decades ago, but MAN I wish I could go to that wedding. It looks like an absolute blast.