Friday, June 11, 2010

Living with Passion, Lessons from Movies

I know I'm a bit behind on the times, but I just spent the afternoon watching Julie & Julia (by myself, with my cats because I had nothing better to do). I'd had interest in seeing it for a while but not enough to actually sit down and watch it prior to now.

I had a few thoughts about it that I felt compelled to articulate:

First of all, the good.
So much of the movie made me love everything. The pure joyfulness of Meryl Streep's Julia Child and her sincere PASSION for food & cooking can't help but make you wish you too had something that brought you equivalent happiness. At times it even made me think that I too might love cooking and that it might unlock some hidden love for it that I had been blind to all my life. (I'm certain this is a passing feeling).

Ok, so now my major gripe:
Why did they include the fact that in real life, Julia Child did NOT have good things to say about Julie Powell's blog? And how can they get away with mentioning this in the movie without giving us any sort of reason?

Since this question remains unanswered in the film, the first thing I did when it ended was Google my question. As it turns out, many people have their opinions about the real Julie Powell's integrity/likability. So I read what I could of her real blog. True, she is not the sweet and lovable modern day woman struggling with life that Amy Adams so sympathetically depicts. Instead, she's the average, occasionally foul-tongued modern blogger, writing as much about watching Buffy as she cooks as she does about her endeavors to master the art of French cooking.

But back to my point. Why would the filmmakers CHOOSE to acknowledge the fact that the real Julia Child did not respect Julie Powell's blog? They could have so easily not even mentioned it--they had taken such care in crafting movie-Julie into a likable character that they gave us no grounds from which we could understand why Mrs. Child would dislike her blog. The movie was poetic in many ways but that one scene really threw me, in what was otherwise a very heartwarming and inspiring story about loving life and living with passion.

So much of the story was essentially an artistic, crafted fictionalized story, that there was no need to throw in a bit of disjointed truth just for the sake of it. It would have been enough to have had a scene in which Julie quietly realizes the likelihood that she really never will meet Julia Child. That's believable. Anyone can relate to that. We all have fantasies that may never come to fruition (and we'll probably all reach the point when we realize the truth) but that doesn't matter, the fantasies aren't the point. True meaning comes from the satisfaction we get from every step we make towards fulfilling everyday goals. It's all about the journey to prove we can do something, accomplish something, and complete the task we set for ourselves with passion and dedication. Because it's good for us to better ourselves. And because it helps us pursue our passion--whatever it may be. And it's the enjoyment of the pursuit of passion that is the key to finding joy.

Regardless of my one disappointment with the film, overall I really enjoyed it and found it very inspiring at a time when I need all the inspiration I can get. Here's to living life and doing what we love! (Even if we're not guaranteed to be paid for it!)

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the movie and thought it was entertaining and fun. Yes, the spot you mentioned was a bit awkward and unnecessary but movies are always doing that to us, aren't they? (Although I guess there isn't always a real person involved.)

    I'm assuming you watched it on DVD or blu-ray. I hope you saw the trailers, they were quite interesting. I don't usually watch them but for whatever reason I watched them on Julie and Julia.