With a dash of romance, a sprinkle of Streep, and rounded tablespoon of women who eat their feelings, Nora Ephron's Julie & Julia is a triumphant souffle of --
Just fucking with you. Were you totally scared?
Moving on to the actual topic of this post: which is how every movie has a lesson.
It doesn't have to be life-altering. It can be anything from Harry Potter's "Good will always triumph over evil" to the less-applicable "Dating someone with Alzeimers is hilarious!" (50 First Dates.)
The lesson I will take with me to the grave? "If you say you brought your daughter on the airplane and no one believes you, then Peter Saarsgard is lying."
God bless you, Flight Plan. Only you had the courage to say what I was always thinking.
To that end, here's a list of things Julie & Julia taught me:
1. If you don't like to watch happy couples be cute with each other in real life, you're also not going to like it when it's projected on a twenty foot screen and you're just kind of stuck there.
2. You can never have enough butter, but you can have enough butter jokes.
3. No, seriously. If you have butter jokes that you must get out of your system, than at least test them first . If Nora Ephron had gone to an open-mic and said, "Guys....what is the deal with butter? I mean, seriously! Who's with me? Anyone? No one?" she might have realized that butter, like 9/11, is just plain off-limits. I myself know several people who find butter jokes to be tasteless in light of all the New York firefighters who died from heart disease.
4. If your inner critic doesn't die when you watch Meryl Streep playing Julia Child, than you have no soul.
5. While good relationships are built on trust and communication, the only real aphrodisiac is landing an agent.
6. "What's for dinner?" is the new "You had me at 'Hello.'"
7. In case anyone was wondering, it's not yet possible to be nostalgic for 2002.
8. You can take Stanley Tucci out of the ambiguously gay, but you can't take the ambiguously gay out of Stanley Tucci. Like, there was a part of me that expected him at any moment to turn to Julia Child and say, "You bet your size 6 ass!"
9. Years from now, when they do a biopic of Hillary Clinton's life, it will star Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep's cryogenically frozen body. Translation: Meryl Streep has and will continue to have a lock on every single semi-interesting role for older women in Hollywood. Forever.
And if there's one thing that you should take away from Julie & Julia, it's this:
10. Nora Ephron thinks you're a moron.
I love Nora Ephron. But sometimes I suspect she wanted to teach special ed and that her scripts are way of, like, reaching out to her would-be students. Just take the first scene of the movie:
Julie: "Why are we in Queens again? Oh, right, because we have no money and it's close to your work."
Because that's how we all talk.
Or the birth of the food blog?
Julie: What am I going to do? All I know how to do is write and cook!"five minutes later:Julie: I have an idea! I'm going to write a cooking blog, and through it I will write and cook!
I felt patronized. Patronized like one of those kids who at the end of summer camp gets some sham award like "Biggest Trooper," or "Most Closely Related to own Sibling," or "Most Improved." (Sorry, guys -- we all know "Most Improved" is camp lingo for "You Had Nowhere To Go But Up.")
So all in all, the lessons of Julie & Julia are there if you're willing to look. Though I've got to admit it helps to know firsthand the unique heartbreak and misery of having your only blog reader be your mom.