Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm So Vain Again... But, really this time.

So.  I went to see a "rough" but basically finished cut of Julie & Julia last night.  And I'm still sort of reeling from the surreality of it all.  I mean, I thought I was more or less copacetic with the whole Life of a Memoirist.  I'm relatively comfortable discussing relatively intimate details of my medical history, pet-ownership, cooking failures and sex life with strangers on the street.  I see my name in magazines in very close proximity to names like "Meryl" and "Nora" and take it in stride.  

But somehow seeing yourself - or a Rom-Com-ed, slimmed-down, considerably less foul-mouthed version of yourself - on a movie screen is a whole different thing.  Well, it's not so much that, even.  "Julie Powell" is a character, played by Amy Adams, who is lovely and great - I understand that, ingest it, am fine with it.  It's stranger hearing Chris Messina (Yummy!!) referred to as "Eric Powell," and see him in an office tricked out with posters and books poached from Eric's actual office.  It's stranger to see a set of our apartment, built by people who never saw our apartment, and see how creepily right it is in some particulars - the red cowboy hat, the brand of digital kitchen timer, the particular lamp or cookbook or poster on the wall. 

Also?  Strange having Meryl Streep (I would tell you about how amazing she is as Julia, and how fantastic Stanley Tucci is as Paul, but, really, was there a doubt?) sitting in the back row and hearing her laugh at jokes.  And having her hug me (little internal squeal carefully internalized.)
 
Not so much strange as hilarious - in the last ten minutes of the movie a person who I was there with, who will remain unnamed due to issues of hilarious embarrassment, and with whom I'd had a conversation about checking cell phones, had her phone go off.  The hilarious bit?  The ring tone was "Dancing Queen."  

48 Comments:

Blogger O'Reilly said...

I can't wait! Thanks for sharing.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Jo Ann said...

Yeah. I get it. It's like an infinite regression (sic). A hall of mirrors.

Reminds me of a quote by Jane Austin: "Of course, she was intending to be surprised; but her astonishment was beyond all expectation."

And guess what? It can happen to you at any age, any time, anywhere. The Dancing Queen.

I'm so glad it happened to you last night!

10:52 AM  
Blogger HotMommy said...

Congrats! I've been giving the book to all by friends on their birthdays for the last year or so. My goal is to have everyone read up and pumped to go out the night it opens.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

Wow, what a cool story. Not a story -- your life. Looking forward to the movie!

And now for some wine, it being Monday at 7pm and all.

6:58 PM  
Blogger austexgrl said...

Hooray for you, Julie Powell!!!

7:58 AM  
Blogger annmcl said...

I can't wait to see it! By the way, you should definitely go on the Martha Stewart show to promote the movie! THAT would be something to see!

11:15 AM  
Blogger Joy Logan said...

Can't wait to see this movie...I've told all my friends in my blog way back,to read the book! I thoroughly enjoyed it!!!

3:04 PM  
Blogger Joy Logan said...

Years ago I wanted to write a local book on where to eat dinner for free at Happy Hours around town. But I was young and had energy then!

3:14 PM  
Blogger Jemima said...

No WAY! Meryl hugged you? And her ringtone was Dancing Queen? My head would have blown off.

9:29 AM  
Blogger EB of SpiceDish said...

Very, Very cool. Revel in all it's weirdness.

10:45 AM  
Blogger nicole said...

wow, that's pretty cool. definitely surreal but still pretty darn amazing.

10:40 AM  
Blogger .·:*¨¨*:·. *Emily* .·:*¨¨*:·. said...

Congrats!
I just read your book (shame) & didn't know it was being made into a movie. I think it would be so weird to see 'myself' on a screen like that

3:34 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

On our trip home from Austin to Kansas City this Thanksgiving my family listened to your audio book. My 13 year-old son, 10 year-old daughter, husband, and I gagged in unison through the aspics, raised our eyebrows in nauseated query through the livers, and throughly enjoyed your tales of cooking, growth, and the cultivation of a healthy drinking problem. Not sure if we'll be able to do the movie as I'm sure our visions of you would be permanently marred. However, thank you for a wonderful listening experience! We arrived to our home, with its newly-finished wood floors, moved all the furniture back to where it belonged, built a fire in the fireplace, and I embarked on a mission to make the best damned Boeuf Bourgignon EVER! A great way to end the holiday! Congratulations, Julie. We're all very very proud of you!

6:54 AM  
Blogger MarieBo said...

Hi Julie!

I bought your book (in french) yesterday.

Finished it today, slowly, because I wanted more of your humor and I wished to know what was happening to you.

I'm so happy to discover that you kept your blog going.

I hope your movie will be coming to Montreal (Quebec).

Don't worry too much about Martha X. She really looks ridiculous saying the book (or movie) is about her.

PLEASE, keep writing. You are obviously gifted and your words are "pastries for the soul".

And even not fattening !!!

Thousand thanks,

A fan from Montreal

7:55 PM  
Blogger The Recessionista said...

DYING to see it! Congrats!

8:01 AM  
Blogger Tracy Q said...

Julie,
I read your book 2 years ago and I loved it! Can't wait for the movie. I talked to everyone about how much I loved the book and how it was a great read. Best of luck in the future and I will be sure to take all of my friends to see the movie.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Leigh Ann said...

Julie- Thank you so much for writing the book. It's 10:40 am in Atlanta and I'm sitting here stunned- just finished the ending. The Julia in your brain (maybe should use mind in this situation!) is the real deal. Had she had a chance to know the real you, she would've invited you out to CA to cook with her-as a dear friend. Thanks for keeping her alive and for sharing your joy and talent for writing with the rest of us. I'm going to try to make the duck suit this week.

7:47 AM  
Blogger penash said...

Hello!

From one potty mouthed lady blogger to another I just want to say I finished your book at 3am Boxing Day and loved your honest, hilarious writing. If your character's foul moth is toned down I don't know if I can face seeing it. As a comedienne fond of effing and blinding I appreciate the timing of a well placed fuck. But don't we all.

Still must be totally wicked to provide Ms Streep with some dialogue, I cried like an idiot during Winner Takes it All.

So, in not very short, hooray for you, thanks for the laughs and thank god for the internet.

Penny

12:13 PM  
Blogger Princess Katryn said...

Wow, I'm like super excited for the movie! I was sooo disappointed when the release date got pushed from April all the way to August because it's "too good". I suppose they want Meryl to get her 3rd Oscar THAT bad, huh? So did you really like the movie? Or was it more of an indifferent thing. I mean, after passing your book around to all of my friends and telling them that Amy Adams was playing you they were all like, "Are you KIDDING?" I was surprised by this simply because of the Disney princess factor, I mean, honestly, Amy isn't the type I can see screaming "fuck" --especially not in front of a camera. I won't lie, she's the reason I read your book this past May. Amy is my favorite actress (I may also have this non-existant friendship with her going on in my head), the moment I found out she was going to be in the movie based on your book I hunted your book down and read it as if it were telling me the secrets of all success in life. I can relate to you immensly. In short, Julia Child is to you as Amy Adams is to me. So, if it doesn't seem too rude to ask you this, did you get to meet Amy? Ha, you're the reason I blog, Julie! Thanks, and congrats!

12:20 PM  
Blogger AmyAdamsFanEAA said...

My interest in all things Amy Adams has brought me here and I guess to a book store near me to purchase a copy of your book' I've read mostly good things about it

1:01 PM  
Blogger Libby D said...

Hi Julie. Got your book from my sister-in-law for Christmas and did something I haven't done in a very long time...finished it in two days.

I have never blogged in my life, but it made such an impression on me that I wanted to find out what happened to you and your dreams. I googled you and here we are. A movie! You must be pinching yourself....

My husband and I are both amateur but enthusiastic cooks. I found your mishap stories highly entertaining and familiar. My dad always said "hunger is the best sauce". Personally, I like to add a liberal dose of alcohol just to make sure my guests appreciate the fare. So many times we get over-ambitious with the menu and our dinner guests are in a drunken and starving stupor by the time we triumphantly dish out our masterpiece. (At that point, they would be grateful for McNuggets, of course.)

I didn't start cooking until I was in my early 30s and now I am pushing 50. My first cookbook was the Silver Palate. It is certainly not Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but it isn't Betty Crocker either. It really inspired me to think about food and eating in a different way. That dog-eared copy sits on a shelf with about 100 other cookbooks that my husband and I have collected over the years.

We just had a big post Christmas brunch at our house for 100 guests. My husband and I cooked everything and it was quite an undertaking. Food wasn't fancy, but we needed quantity. The night before the party we stayed up to an ungodly hour cooking. After we crawled in bed exhausted and stinking of eggs (and other less savory odors), my hand wandered up to my chapped lips. I felt a piece of skin and decided to give it a yank. Bad idea. My lower lip started peeling off like scotch tape. I got up in a panic and ran to the bathroom. What looked back at me from the mirror was not a pretty sight. My lip was swollen and bleeding from an alarmingly large gash. I thought I might actually require stitches. My unfortunate husband had to get up and quell my hysteria. The next morning we were still decorating, cooking and putting out food like crazy people. I poured myself into my dress and heels 15 minutes before guests arrived and smeared my lips with red lipstick to camoflauge the gash. Party turned out perfectly and everyone kept marveling about how I made entertaining "look so easy". Oh yeah!

I think the reason I enjoyed reading your book so much was not just because of my love for cooking and all things edible, but because I can identify with your mission to find yourself. There is a joy in doing something as ancient and primal as feeding your loved ones. Julia Childs helped the average American housewife believe that cooking French cuisine was not beyond her reach. Your book and your experience help show that a larger life is also within everyone's reach.

Obviously your efforts and risk-taking are paying off. Please keep saying "fuck" and telling funny stories on yourself. You are a fine writer and it isn't easy to open yourself up like an onion for others. I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.

Regards,
Libby in N.C.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Michaela said...

I just received your book for Christmas and am almost done. I love it. I have a Julia and Jacques cooking at home cookbook that I have never used. So this morning I thumbed through the book and am heading out to the store to buy ingredients for two of the recipes in there(o.k. so they are easy ones). Thank you for inspiring me to try something new.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Cate said...

Loved your book-read it this summer and glad to hear it is being made into a movie. Norah Ephron is amazing and sounds like she has picked a great cast.

Sure to be a hit!

3:25 PM  
Blogger Natasha said...

Dear Julie,

You might not remember me. I am Natasha, one of Vartan Gregorian's assistant from the World Trade Center Memorial Jury days. I just wanted to say congratulations to you on the book and the movie. This is really wonderful news!

6:40 AM  
Blogger alice said...

Hi Julie! I just finished your book TODAY... and I feel like I know your voice, even though I've never seen any of your TV appearances. Having gotten a late start in the culinary world myself (at 33, I went to The French Culinary Institute), I fully appreciate and understand the amazing commitment you made to your project.

You are truly inspiring as a cook and as woman with chutzpah! You go girl!

CAN'T WAIT to hear more details!

12:05 PM  
Blogger Jenn23 said...

that is freaking hilarious!! and I'm so jealous it hurts that you got to meet Meryl!

7:38 PM  
Blogger black eyed susans kitchen said...

Looking forward to seeing the movie. Have you ever seen Whatever Martha, the show where her daughter Alexis comments on her older shows? I'd like to hear what what she thinks of her mom thinking your book is about her. Hope it lives up to the hilarity and drama of the book, which I mentioned in my blog.
♥, Susan

6:20 AM  
Blogger Sujan said...

Hey Julie, what a story! As my fellow commenter said, pls make a movie. Congrats!

Thanks,
Sujan Patricia from Australia

11:47 PM  
Blogger RC said...

julie, tonight i spent my time putting together a bio of you as part of preview of bio-pics in film i put together every year as a project on my blog.

I'm just beginning the 2009 project and couldn't help but include this discription of your experience as part of my post.

I imagine that's incredibly surreal...just imagine if you could have watched it sitting next to the Julia Child. Now that would have been super-surreal.

12:13 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

It sounds like the kind of moved which I would like so I will try and check it out when I can.


Paul from Rome Italy.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I saw the movie last night at a preview. It was fantastic!!! It was funny and real. The theater was filled with women, men and children of all ages. It was delightful. all of the Actors were excellent. I plan to see it again!
Rachel

10:05 AM  
Blogger DreamgirlLisa said...

I am DYING to see this movie, embarased to say I haven't read the book, but I will before seeing the movie.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Ann P. said...

The food editor of the Orlando Sentinel hosted a preview of your movie tonight. I was one of the lucky ones to get a ticket...actually she gave me 4 tickets. My foodie friends LOVED the movie. Your story is fantastic! You deserve to have it all!

7:38 PM  
Blogger Sheri said...

I am halfway through your book so far. I am disappointed in your language (the f word) and your slamming of the Republican Party, especially, since you are supposed to be a good southern girl...
Sheri

3:37 PM  
Blogger Kakashezi Poopiyaki said...

Fun, fun stuff! Can't wait to see that girl, watch that scene...

4:03 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Hi Julie,
It's nice to be able to read your blog. I did read your original blog that you did with the cookbook. Once I heard about the movie I had to go and read it. I just got home from seeing the film with my sister who is currently going through a divorce as we type. All I can say is that it was very inspiring and very good. It definitely cheered my sister up, and gave us a nice giggle. Thank you.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

Hi Julie,

Saw the movie tonight...opening night...absolutely loved it. Felt warm and fuzzy when I left, but more importantly, felt inspired.

I am about to embark on my own blog, so the movie was indeed timely for me. I am fairly certain many people will walk away inspired to cook, to blog or both.

Congratulations and I hope that you will continue to write here.

Would love to be able to communicate with you.

Warm regards and much butter,
Dianne D.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Palmetto said...

Hi there,

Saw the movie last night in San Antonio, and tonight in South Carolina. Wonderful crowd response, wonderful movie. What a great family film. Your life was truly interesting.

Doc

4:48 PM  
Blogger beverly w gibbons said...

Hi Julie,
My husband and I enjoyed your movie yesterday...the theater was FULL! Congratulations on your perseverance in cooking your way thru Julia Child's book. I admire your spunk, too. Nora Ephron was the perfect person to write this screenplay....maybe now you can be more visible for all your talents.
Beverly WG in NE Georgia

1:15 PM  
Blogger HarryO3 said...

I went to the first showing of J&J here in Birmingham, AL and I went away laughting. I really enjoyed it and hope to read more of your works. Will you tell us what do you have in the works at this time?

Harry in Birmingham, AL

2:33 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

Hi Julie -

Just saw the movie for the 2nd time and laughed just as much as the first time!

As a "foodie" I can't even begin to imagine how expensive it must have been to make every one of those recipes - my goodness and the one special dish twice in two days...

Just wanted to congratulate you for this success - see, you have finished a project!!! But I wouldn't waste my time on the MS show - maybe Rachel Ray - she seems to have a better sense of humor! I've SEEN MS embarrass people on her show and I wouldn't want that to happen to you!

Anyway, Julie - my very best wishes to you!

7:00 PM  
Blogger writting said...

Julie,
I love your movie! it was so real to me. I have 4 kids at home 3 with disabilities and last year i watched Rachel Ray each day and cooked her menus for my theraphy. I would love to meet you someday and want to write a book someday
Thanks for sharing your story
jmullen

4:48 PM  
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9:28 AM  
Blogger gins52 said...

reJulie, just saw the movie last night. It was great. Meryl was fantastic at playing Julia Child. I really haven't seen Amy in any other movie, but she was great in playing you. How close to real life was the movie? Did you really drop the chicken on the floor? What was it stuffed with? It looked good. Sure makes you hungry when watching it. Do you still cook very much now after doing all of those recipies or did that experience take all of the fun out of cooking? Well any way, very good movie. Really enjoyed seeing it. God Bless!

10:37 AM  
Blogger chriss said...

I, from eastern Europe, Romania more exacly and i got to say that the movie is great, your story is magnificient, i wold really want to see your book translated into romanian but also to find julia,s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking.Can i order them by mail? It s a great thing to see that some movies are true. God bless you.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Ainur B said...

Hi Julie,
Thought I should leave a "thank you" note for the book you wrote. I haven't read it (shame on me!), but I just finished watching the movie!!! I have been out of the States for awhile (been teaching in Kazakhstan) and sort of was out of loop. Anyway, great movie, touching story. Inspiring too. Seriously. I felt like getting up at 2 am (that's when I finished watching the movie) and start cooking Boeuf à la Bourguignonne.

12:04 AM  
Blogger Sir Bacon said...

Julie,

Your story and your determination has truly inspired me.

After 25 years in the TV biz (and five Emmy Awards), I was handed my pink slip.

Since the beginning of the year, I've been writing a blog on my journey through unemployment.

The response has been truly amazing with more than 100,000 hits from around the world.

I hope you get a chance to check it out www.sirbacon123.com.

I wish you well.

Sir Bacon

1:52 PM  
Blogger Connie Ott said...

I'm watching the movie again, I think the 3rd time, and I still love it like I did in the theatre. It may not be you exactly, but it's certainly entertaining!

Seattle Mom Blogger

5:47 PM  

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