Saturday, March 13, 2010

Julie and Julia Review

By the way, Oscar review is up here

I was worried that Julie and Julia, written and directed by Nora Ephron, would have nothing in it that appealed to me as a male. In other words, I thought it would be a “chickflick” and watching it was an experience in determining specifically what it was that made this film a chick flick. I’ve actually seen three of Nora Ephron’s previous films- Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, and Bewitched- and liked them all and I enjoy Ephron’s style. If contemporary storytellers are supposed to make sure their stories reflect the times they’re in, Ephron does it very literally: she’s set romantic story around radio call-in shows, and later the cybertexting revolution of AOL and her Hollywood-comeback story about the remaking of Bewitched was a commentary on nostalgia as a driving force in Hollywood (that summer, alone three of the biggest films in the theater were remakes).

This film here is one of the only movies I know to center around the art of blogging and just as film professors have told me that Shakespeare in Love is a supposedly important film about how and where art exists, the same must be true here. The story takes these themes about art and imbues them into a story that’s about the struggle to find your calling. These were elements I could get behind.

At the same time, it’s a chick flick. It’s not a love story: the two protagonists are already married and one marital spat doesn’t make this a film about finding Mr. Right. Nevertheless, the struggle to find your calling in life is told from a feminine perspective. It’s about the struggle for finding your calling in life but it’s from a very feminine perspective. These characters’ motivations are based on biological clocks and reactions to what their friends are doing at baby showers’t'heal the mend caused by this problem. mathat are things productive is a long road. You need to continue to get psychological and the resistance to being a “domesticated housewife” and it becomes obvious to the male viewer that these aren’t our struggles (of course, they are struggles we empathize with).

So overall, a good movie, one that caters less to the male viewer than Nora Ephron’s previous films. Oh, and also, Meryl Streep is once again phenomenal (as if that needs to be said). Watching Meryl Streep is like watching Kobe Bryant or the world champion at anything manhandle his competition.

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