There are certain people I’ve always detested without every knowing them. Nora Ephron is one. I think it goes back to her book, “Heartburn.” I thought she was a whining bitch who should have left the guy in the first ten pages rather than hanging around to cook meals for him and bore us with the recipes. I loved that it tanked as a movie. The there was “You’ve Got Mail.” It put me to sleep in New York and I had bad dreams about strident West Side women ripping off Ernst Lubitsch movies.
So it was with extreme displeasure that I agreed to see “Julie & Julia.” I’m shocked to say I really liked it. But I think the critics have got it backwards. It works so well not because Meryl Streep is so perfect as Julia Childs. Come on, any actress in a cattle call could do a good Julia. It’s like doing a Liza, or a Sarah Palin. Some people are so over the top that you wish it was someone who couldn’t do her perfectly (that’s why Frank Langella is so good as Nixon).
The reason Julie & Julia works is Amy Adams, and a first rate script and good direction. The heart of the movie is Julie’s struggle to be somebody. Okay, she ripped off a cookbook and Julia said it was a cheap trick. Cheap? To buy all those ingredients in New York City where a shopping bag at Fairway averages $60? And going through a seven hundred plus page cookbook in a year let alone blogging about it every day? My heart goes out to her, and the character played so well by Amy Adams. And to Nora Ephron who has finally proved to me she’s got heart rather than heartburn.