Short notice, but five neighborhood friends went to see Julie & Julia this week. I loved the way the story was told, with two tales simultaneously developing, intertwined and funny and downtrodden and quirky. We sputtered and laughed and hoped for success for both protagonists, as they followed their food-filled (and too meat-filled for me, sorry Patty who sat next to me) dreams. The costumes and sets were perfection, and the film made me want to return to Paris NOW.
Meryl Streep was, as always, incredible with the lilting accents and mannerisms and movements that I remember from when my mother used to watch Julia Child on TV, when I was a child. Debonaire Stanley Tucci was her husband, so in love and involved as she wrote and cooked and wrote and cooked and… Amy Smart was funny and neurotic, a bit over the top at time, but sweet.
As much as I loved watching the story develop, it made me sad. The dreams I once had, fading as life moves forward and I am caught in the wave of time and children and mortgages and jobs and mopping the floors and and volunteer work and keeping on top of the family schedule with military-like precision, until rain changes three practices, and aging families and friends in need.
How many people are staring at their screens after watching that film, trying to write their first blog searching for quick fame, with blank thoughts, no stories to tell? And don’t realize how challenging it can be to write day after day? How many other brilliant writers are out there penning away, unnoticed? What makes a blog catch fire? Sometimes it’s the real, sometimes it’s the fraud–like the woman who claimed to be pregnant, got all kinds of sponsors and uh-oh she wasn’t pregnant. What? someone lied on the internet?
We would all love to come home to 65 phone messages like Julie, with offers and names and deals and opportunities to do work we dream about. A smidgeon of extremely lucky people do what they love each day, not the masses. We might live through them, while following our own paths. Even as we grasp at our dream remnants we can only hope for the support system of spouse and friends from the film, cheering each zig-zag step forward.
In my mind, a successful film is one that makes me forget I am sitting in the dark–transporting me to become an invisible participant–gives me reason to feel true emotion while watching, to talk about it afterwards, and to make me think about the major and/or minor issues in it long after the screen is dark. In all of these goals, Julie & Julia succeeded. C