I watched Julie & Julia (2009) for the first time last night after obsessing over Meryl Streep after the Oscars. I get it now. She is perfect. Those cheekbones! Oh my. But going back to the movie - it reminded me of a year and a half of my life back in college when I baked almost every single day. My mom and dad encouraged it by buying me nonstick cake pans and confectionery sugar among other things. I ended up briefly opening an online sweets shop called "My Slumbering Heart" with a clientele that consisted mostly of aunts and college friends. I think I still have copies of the stuff I made. I just have to dig through almost eight years' worth of photos. Here's a glimpse of it though. I always thought I enjoyed it so much because I loved to eat. But after seeing the movie, it made me realize that it was way more than that. I guess, being quite good at it, it made me feel like a more conventional woman with more conventional skills. It also gave me something to do. Now, I'm not one to laugh at sexism. I personally think we, as a society, should retire the sandwich joke. Seriously. But I have to admit, there's something comforting about knowing that in some way, I can fulfill one of the many so-called traditional roles of a woman. Baking, not necessarily cooking, is not for everyone. It takes a lot of patience and precision, two things I definitely lack. My palette for good food more than makes up for my fundamental shortcomings. That is to say I eat a whole damn lot and I'm proud of it.
Julia Child represents sincerity in that she actually cooks because it makes her happy regardless of fame (which was definitely much harder to attain back then with the absence of the internet). Julie Powell, to me, represents something a bit more complicated than that. Of course, I am saying all these things based on a Hollywood film. So take that into account. I'm sure she loves to cook as well, but her motivation seems to be a bit more sketchy. It seems to be a stunt with an end goal of inking a book deal more than achieving the feat of learning every Julia Child recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Although who am I to say, really? Like I said, Hollywood films, guys. Am I right?
I thought it was kind of odd though that in the film, back in Julia Child's days, men were considered to be the good cooks. She got through Le Cordon Bleu in Paris trying to prove to her classmates - all of which were men - that she could do it as well. The best part, apart from Meryl Streep's amusing voice, was the love story between Julia and Paul Child. I guess in this respect, I am the typical woman.