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Yesterday, my friend and I went to see the wonderful movie called “Julie and Julia”. It is the story of a young woman who decides to cook her way through Julia Child’s classic cookbook: “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, and blog about her experience as she goes.
I went with a dear friend to whom I have given a cooking lesson or two, and who shows up faithfully every year to help me and my kids ice sugar cookies at Christmas. She and I have lots in common: we love Jesus, we love to laugh, and we love my kids. But one thing that binds us ever so sweetly as sisters is our deep, passionate and abiding love for FOOD. So she was the PERFECT friend with whom to see this movie.
This movie was even more meaningful to me since I just got back from seeing a mock-up of Julia’s kitchen at the Smithsonian when I visited there last week. Julia just feels like she’s come to life for me recently.
So today, I wanted to write about
My TOP REASONS FOR LOVING THIS MOVIE:
1. Meryl Streep: The woman is an absolute wonder. Honest to gosh, I really don’t know how she does what she does, but she practically became Julia Child.
2. The food: Meryl Streep said she gained 15 lbs while filming this movie. I totally understand how and why.
3. Julia Child’s joie de vivre: it’s absolutely infectious, even if some of her pronunciation of certain French words absolutely sucked. The French don’t really care about that if you are enthusiastic about all things French – especially the food – which Julia was. Watching Meryl Streep portray Julia Child as she sucked the marrow out of the bones of life, and licked her oily fingers following the experience: well, it was absolutely inspiring. I want to live my life like that.
4. Stanley Tucci portraying Paul Child: How can a diminutive, bald man be so incredibly sexy? First, I noticed his calm self assurance, and the twinkle in his eye. But even more importantly, he loved his Julia passionately, he believed in her infinitely, and he fully supported her dreams. Now, that’s sexy!!!
5. The love story between Julia and Paul: They may have looked like the Odd Couple (Julia was a bit of a giant) but they were a match made in haute cuisine, and knowing that she married later in life, and was still a virgin when she married him – well, watching them enjoy each other madly, passionately, completely… it reminds me to enjoy the incredible gift that God has given me in my gorgeous husband. There are no dress rehearsals in life, and none of us are getting any younger.
6. Blogging: this comes in as a fraction of the story line, but since I do it, and have struggled with the narcissism involved in the whole process, I enjoyed this aspect of the story
Finally, this wasn’t a part of the movie, but I was pondering the whole thing a bit in church this morning.
As Christians, Jesus told us that He came that we might have life, life to the full.
Who is better equipped to live life exuberantly than a Christian? We’ve been forgiven and we know that a glorious destiny awaits us. Yes, we grieve for the pain and destruction that we see in this world, but have we not been given the most glorious freedom in Christ to enjoy life while we love others? And this was the quality that I loved about Julia: her overwhelming zest for life and love for others, that spilled out of her naturally, wherever she went. She brought joy into the lives of those she touched. (At least, the Julia that Meryl Streep played in the movie did.) I want to be that kind of person wherever I go: someone who exudes life and love, and has life to the full.
So, if you haven’t seen it already, grab a friend who loves to cook, or who at least loves to eat, and go and enjoy “Julie and Julia”. You may find a little bit of the Julia in the movie rubbing off on you, too. And to mix culinary mavens and metaphors a bit, “That”, as Martha Stewart might say, would be “a good thing”.
P.S. If you saw it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!