Julie & Julia: A Cooking AND Writing Life

I just got home from seeing Julie and Julia. I LOVED this movie. I have to say, until a few years ago, I was not a Meryl Streep fan, but I am SO glad she started doing comedy. Amy Adams was fantastic, and–well–I’ll watch Stanley Tucci in just about anything. I had seen previews and heard friends talk about the movie, and it lived up to all my expectations.

And it surprised me.

Because nobody told me about the writing/publishing thread. In which, I may say, there are many lessons to be learned.

By a writer’s FAMILY.

Here are the things I think the members of a writer’s family or, frankly, anyone in their support-system should take away from this film. (Perhaps MINOR spoilers involved.)

  • Always tell the writer that their book is important, a work of genius, and that it will “change the world.” I don’t care if their book is a novel, a cookbook, or a dictionary.
  • Support the writer in any and all research they must do to write their book–everything from buying MORE books to traveling to Chicago (Thanks, Honey!) to participating in the mass slaughter of several large lobsters.
  • Be polite, tactful, and respectful as the writer works toward publication. Recognize the moment, however, when it is not only appropriate but OBLIGATORY to swear forcefully, in response to a rejection letter.
  • Learn the dance of joy, and be prepared to perform it, in tandem, with energy and enthusiasm–if necessary, in public.
  • Do the dishes.

I think this is an important movie for us ALL to take our family to. Tonight, the theater population was at least 90% women. My husband and son were kind enough to join me for my birthday outing, and they were laughing and smiling right along with me.

They were also, I’m sure, taking copious notes.

In all seriousness, go. The movie, even without the agonies and joys of Julia’s publishing path, would have been delightful. With them, it was a reminder of how hard we all have to work to “get there,” and how worthwhile it is that we are doing so.