Julie & Julia

Monday, August 10, 2009


One of my favorite pastimes is eating, not so much the cooking part, but the eating. Cooking takes too much time and effort, and I'm too impatient to do things the right way; like pulling the chicken out of the freezer the night before to defrost, pre-heating the oven, or going to the store once a week so you always have fresh food. It's all too much planning and prep. I just want to eat.

Julie & Julia reunites two of my favorite actresses, Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, in this lighthearted comedy about the life of Julia Child and dedicated fan, Julie Powell. Julie, is a restless cubicle worker who decides that she needs to make a change in her life, so she sets a goal to cook her way through Julia Child's cookbook and write a blog about her experiences. In a separate lifetime, but featured in parallel, Julia Child is at the beginning of a burgeoning career, and her struggles to make it as a chef are given buoyancy with her pleasantly eccentric mannerisms.

I loved this movie's characters. Julie Powell is someone I could definitely relate to, as I found myself in her same position 2 years ago when I started this blog. Though not as successful as her, I still feel accomplishment every time I post. :) Then there is Julia Child, who is a perfect concoction of spunk and effervescent optimism. Meryl Streep, as always, embraces her role, and as this popular chef, she made Julia's extreme personality charming and adorable.

But as cute as this movie was, something bothered me. Toward the end of Julie's storyline, there was a reference to a possible hint of animosity from Julia toward Julie. And even that hint seemed totally out of character from the person Meryl portrayed. Also, there was no major climax to the plot. Julie &Julia is what I categorize as a steady flick; movies like The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio or Must Love Dogs; movies that have one tone. It's a cute movie, but not necessarily a good one.

So if you choose to watch this movie, watch it while you're full or you'll be as hungry as a bear before the film is through, go with girlfriends, and remember, Bon Appetit!

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 8:55 PM 1 comments  

Funny People

Monday, August 03, 2009


Finding humor in a tragic situation can be a gift. It can defy four out of the five stages of dying - denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. Laughter is the best medicine, after all. But in the case of George Simmons, these stages manifest themselves in humor.

George Simmons (Adam Sandler) is a professional comedian who started in stand up but has a made a career that includes major motion pictures, big-name magazine covers, multi-million dollar houses, hot girls, and no friends. When he finds out that he has a deadly disease, he goes back to his roots in stand up comedy, gains a dark edge, and befriends a young, aspiring comedian, Ira (Seth Rogen), who is grounded, loyal, and star-struck.

Through the course of this dramedy, it becomes evident that George is a selfish ass, but Sandler's depiction is subtle and surprisingly likable. Ira is George's opposite - occasionally selfish but does the right thing when it counts. The development of their relationship was fun to watch at first, but then the movie just dragged; dragged during George's attempts to win his married ex-girlfriend back; dragged when hunky Eric Bana beats the crap out of frumpy Sandler. The film lost my interest, and by the end, I didn't care so much about Ira or George. Where's the humor in watching a train wreck?

It was cool to see into the life of the comedian lifestyle; a lifestyle that isn't portrayed that often in movies - the hard work, the creativity behind a good joke, the need for a lucky break, and the glamorous poverty of an unsuccessful career in the entertainment industry. However, I couldn't help but feel this watch was a waste of my time. The flick may star funny people, but it wasn't that funny. I'd skip it for something else. Funny People includes cameos from Marshall Mathers, Ray Ramano, and James Tayler.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 10:16 PM 0 comments