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Julie and Julia: the movie (plus: older moviegoers?)

August 9, 2009
tags: , , , ,

I went to see Julie and Julia yesterday. You’ll recall I was cynical about the movie after finishing the book, but that turned out to be unfounded: Julie and Julia is charming, touching and funny.

The movie does an excellent job blending the two true storylines — based on Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia and Julia Child’s My Life in France.

Most of the attention paid to the movie has focused on Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Julia Child. The attention is well-deserved; she is excellent. However, I would hate to see Julie Powell (Amy Adams) pushed under the rug.

Movie-Julie isn’t quite as likable as the one in the book. Julie’s level of whiny is probably close to that of the book, but it is less tempered onscreen by the wit that permeated every page. When that wit does shine through, it’s still subtle — upstaged by the flamboyant Julia (through no fault of either actress, I hasten to add — it’s just a difference of the characters’ styles). And when movie-Julie talks about how much she loves Julia, she comes off as borderline-deranged, though in an adorable, Amy-Adams kind of way. My solution was to unconsciously project book-Julie onto movie-Julie, lessening the effect. I can’t tell how you’d see her without the book – maybe you’d love her, maybe you’d find her annoying.

The movie is a sparkling tribute to the power of hope and perseverance. With a tiny bit of ramped-up drama and cuteness oozing everywhere (not to mention a well-placed Talking Heads track), I, for one, was won over.

Related to the movie, but not about the movie: the audience. I have never seen so many elderly people at a movie theater. But there they were. It makes sense — those are probably the people most connected to Julia Child. It was still interesting to see, though.

One of my companions was talking to the theater’s manager (long story), and he said that the last movie with that kind of older audience was Revolutionary Road, which was set in the 1950s.

It makes me wonder how much movie executives intentionally target an older demographic. It seems, in some ways, to be on the rise (though I suppose it could be accidental). The trailer for this movie, It’s Complicated, played before the feature yesterday. It seems to be targeted to older viewers:

Are moviemakers trying something new, trying to expand their audiences? Or have they always targeted these markets and I’ve never noticed?

One Comment leave one →
  1. harmamae permalink
    August 9, 2009 2:33 pm

    I’ve never noticed either, if they have. 🙂

    I just watched the trailer for this movie last night – it looked pretty interesting. It definitely looked like Meryl Streep nailed her character. Though I think I’m going to read the book before seeing this.

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