Comfort movies come in all shapes and sizes. They can be anything from award-winning films to straight to DVD Barbie movies from the early 2000s. They’re any movie that can provide someone with some sort of comfort and warmth if they need it. Any film has the potential to be someone’s comfort movie.
So with that in mind, I am more than prepared to make the case that “Julie & Julia” is the most comfortable comfort movie of all time.
*no spoilers below*
*well, it was based on a true story, so if you don’t want any spoilers, then skip the part where I talk about that*
Based on Two True Stories
“Julie & Julia” is based on the true stories of Julie Powell, an author and blogger, and Julia Child, an American cooking icon. The movie follows both of their stories, flipping back and forth from Child’s life in the 1950s to Powell’s life in the 2000s. Child is bored at her home in Paris and decides to write a cookbook to pass the time. Powell is unhappy with her life in Queens and decides to prepare each recipe from Child’s cookbook and blog about it to give herself something to look forward to. Both women’s projects evolve into something bigger than they could ever imagine.
The movie is inspired by Julia Child’s book My Life in France and Julie Powell’s blog The Julie/Julia Project, as well as her book Julie & Julia.
Julia Child was an American cook and television personality. She was born in 1912 to a family who had a private chef and did not become interested in food until she met her husband, which wasn’t until the 1940s. She worked as a top secret researcher for the OSS during World War II. She was stationed in China, where she met her husband Paul Child, another OSS employee. Paul introduced her to fine cuisine and after the war, the couple was relocated to Paris. This is where the movie picks of Child’s story. After publishing her first cookbook, she would go onto win an Emmy for her cooking show “The French Chef” (1963-1973), be awarded the medal of freedom in 2003, and be credited with bringing French cuisine to the American public.
Julie Powell was working for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation during the aftermath of 9/11 when she began to blog The Julie/Julia Project. The blog followed her life and experiences as she cooked her way through Julia Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking in just one year. She later signed a deal with Little, Brown, and Co. to write Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, later renamed Julie & Julia.
During the run of Powell’s blog and then her book, Child was asked to comment on it. She simply said, “I don’t think she’s a serious cook” and did not want to endorse it, as she felt that Powell was cooking for the sake of a stunt.
Child died on August 13th, 2004. She and Powell never met.
It’s all about women
Meryl Streep and Amy Adams give amazing performances as Julia Child and Julie Powell. I mean Streep portrays a woman who was already a larger-than-life character on her own, but she also makes Child relatable and funny and it is an absolute joy to watch. Adams also gives a very entertains performance portraying just a normal person, which you think would be a little boring to watch but somehow it isn’t!
The premise of this movie sounds boring on paper (two women cook and then write books), but the way the characters are written and performed is surprisingly entertaining and incredibly relatable. It is unfortunately rare to find a female-driven movie that also has likable, well-rounded female leads.
You just can’t help but get invested in Julia and Julie’s stories as you watch them struggle to pursue their passions!
I, for one, am not used to men being so openly supportive of their wives. Child is bored of being a housewife and wants to pursue cooking as a serious career. And her husband, Paul Child (portrayed by Stanley Tucci), is unbelievably supportive of her. The portrayal of their relationship in the film is heartwarmingly healthy, especially for a couple of the 50s.
Without spoiling anything, Powell’s husband Eric (portrayed by Chris Messina), is not as supportive as Paul in my opinion. While he is still supportive for most of the film, he also tends to just rub me the wrong way. While I do not enjoy Eric and Julie’s relationship as much as Paul and Julia’s, I understand that other people may not have the same opinion.
The bottom line is that I find it refreshing to see relationships like these in film. They’re healthy but the story is never really about them!
The comfy Vibes
This movie gives off some of the best vibes a movie can give. The color palette of it is soft and uses a lot of greens, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite colors. I am a big fan of Paris and we get plenty of shots of it throughout the film. Another aspect of it I love is the 50s fashion! I could never really describe the aesthetic fully in words, so please just enjoy these stills from the film!
Maybe I just like Nora Ephron…?
“Julie & Julia” was released in 2009 and was written, directed by Nora Ephron.I had heard of her before, but it took me way too long to realize that she had also written another one of my all-time favorite movies “When Harry Met Sally” (1989).
She has also written, directed famous movies such as “You’ve Got Mail” (1998) and “Sleepless in Seattle”(1993). Unfortunately, Nora Ephron passed away in 2012, with her last film being “Julie & Julia”.
The way I discovered this film was bizarre… but made a lasting memory!
Okay, so this is more of a personal story time than about the movie.
A couple of summers ago, my entire family went on a trip to Mexico. For some reason, my parents thought it would be a great idea for my sister and me to stay in a hotel room by ourselves while we were there (my parents were in the room next door to ours). We stayed up late every night watching TV. Some of the channels were in Spanish and others were in English, and some would run the same movie over and over again throughout the day in both languages. “Julie & Julia” was one of these movies. I would watch some of it in Spanish one night and then another part in English the next. I never finished it, but continued to think about it even after our trip had ended. I had liked what I’d seen and wanted to watch it in full.
About a year later, the film appeared on Netflix. I was so excited that I watched it right away and the rest is history…
In Conclusion, You should watch it
This film has a very special place in my heart and this week I just felt the need to write out all the reasons I love it. It is still on Netflix for those who want to go check it out, although you don’t have to. I understand that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and that is just fine.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading my incoherent ramblings. I hope you at least enjoyed some part of them!