Monday, August 10, 2009

The Joy of Julia

So I lost the Julie and Julia argument last night. I made the mistake of asking my special lady friend what she wanted to do without first suggesting what I would actually prefer doing. “Let’s go see Julie & Julia,” was the dreaded response. Damnit. I thought quickly,

The thing about a movie theater is that it’s dark and you can’t talk and share feelings. In fact, there is even a rule about not talking. When I was much younger, dinner and a movie was the standard date night. The more I think about it now, I believe that dates should never involve a movie. If I were a woman I’d resent any guy who took me to dinner and a movie on a date. Why? Look at it this way, a movie is basically paying someone 18 bucks in exchange for two hours of silence. I can save my 18 bucks and ignore you for two hours. Or, I can buy a case of beer and sit at home alone for two hours before I pick you up and take you to dinner. A movie is unoriginal and insensitive. I think a woman should appreciate a guy who wants to take her out and get to know all about her; not sit passively in the dark and watch a movie. I would rather go somewhere and just be with you.”

. . . that was my attempt to get out of seeing Julie & Julia, the new Meryl Streep movie where she plays Julia Child. Unfortunately, she wasn’t buying it. I tried. Let me see if I can put this in perspective for the women reading this. Going to see a Meryl Streep movie is painful for a man. It’s like you:

1. Being forced to go to a black tie event wearing the same dress as three other women in the room.
2. Having to wear nail polish that doesn’t match your outfit,
3. Skipping an episode of Sex in the City,
4. Being forced to let your roots grow out, or
5. Having to wear your “fat jeans” to your high school reunion

You get the picture.

Look, the movie was sufficiently cute and Amy Adams was believable and perky. Meryl Streep will get an Oscar nod for her brilliant portrayal of Julia Child and it will be lauded as “miraculous” by Oprah. The View women will gush about it and Elizabeth Hasselbeck will have to admit that she loved it; thereby making it the first time on the history of that awful, catty show that she agrees with the omniscient Whoopi Goldberg. Great. I still didn’t like it. The bottom line is that it’s a chick movie, starring chicks, and made for chicks. I’m not in the target demographic. If I want to see Meryl Streep eat breakfast for two hours, I’ll rent Bridges of Madison County.

To be fair, I will say that as far as a chick movie goes, it was original. The set up between Julie and Julia’s lives and how they each heal and fulfill themselves via French cooking was interesting. It was set in Paris and New York, and that was interesting (as opposed to Madison County with all of its bridges and breakfast tables). I chuckled at some of the humor. It was very Nora Ephron-y. It wasn’t the standard “hardened unfulfilled business guy is bored with being rich and successful and just needs to be loved by the poor sweet woman who got dumped by a cruel man because he couldn’t see her true beauty” plot line. I appreciated that. All in all, I dodged a bullet. The movie was tolerable and less than two hours long. It was like being hit by a pitch rather than striking out.

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