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"JULIE & JULIA"
(2009) (Meryl Streep, Amy Adams) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Mild Moderate Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Heavy Heavy Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A contemporary government call center agent hopes to reinvigorate her life by making all of the recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook, all as that chef tries to make her mark in the world back in her day.
PLOT:
It's 1949 and Julia Child (MERYL STREEP) has moved to Paris with her husband Paul (STANLEY TUCCI). He's busy working as an exhibits officer with the United States Information Agency, but she's bored and needs something to fill her time. After some unsuccessful ventures, she decides upon taking up French cooking, what with her love of eating that cuisine but inability to find any French cookbooks that have been translated into English.

After getting into the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school run by the snooty Madame Brassart (JOAN JULIET BUCK), Julia eventually meets Simone Beck (LINDA EMOND) and Louisette Bertholle (HELEN CAREY), and the three women decide to write an English language version of a French cookbook.

Little do they know that their work will later inspire and change the life of someone many decades later in 2002. She's Julie Powell (AMY ADAMS), a government call center agent who responds to citizen inquiries about most anything related to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. That line of work gets her down, as does her recent move with her husband Eric (CHRIS MESSINA) to a small apartment above a pizza parlor in Queens.

It's Eric who convinces her she should blog about her experiences, and she decides she'll do one about cooking, what with thinking she's found a kindred spirit in Julia Child. Giving herself a one-year deadline, she sets out to make every recipe in Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook, getting support not only from Paul and her best friend, Sarah (MARY LYNN RAJSKUB), but also the growing number of readers following her blog.

As she continues her quest and must contend with various obstacles and setbacks, the story alternates between her tale and that of Child who strives to get her cookbook written and published.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of anyone in the cast or are interested in Julia Child and/or cooking, it doesn't seem too likely that many kids will be intrigued by it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For brief strong language and some sensuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MERYL STREEP plays Julia Child before she became famous, a woman looking for her calling, and she finds it in cooking and then writing and trying to have her French cookbook published. She smokes, drinks, and briefly uses strong profanity as a joke.
  • AMY ADAMS plays a government call center agent who must field phone calls of various natures regarding the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. She's not particularly happy in her life (be that her line of work or her new home), but she finds a purpose in trying to make all of the meal's in Julia Child's cookbook in one year. During that, she drinks, uses profanity, and displays various frustration-based tantrums and meltdowns that put a strain on her relationship with her husband.
  • STANLEY TUCCI plays Julia's husband, an exhibits officer with the United States Information Agency who introduces her to high cuisine and helps spawn her passion for cooking. He must contend with an unfounded investigation by Senator McCarthy's cronies while encouraging and supporting Julia's quest to have her French cooking cookbook published. He smokes, drinks, and briefly uses strong profanity.
  • CHRIS MESSINA plays Julie's husband who doesn't share her disdain & disappointment with their new home, but is the one who encourages her to blog about her life, all of which leads to her year-long quest. He drinks and is happy with the food she makes, but is unhappy with her drama queen antics when they rear their ugly head.
  • LINDA EMOND plays Julia's friend and cookbook collaborator who becomes miffed that their third partner, Louisette, isn't actually doing much work. She drinks some.
  • HELEN CAREY plays that friend who wants equal share of the potential publishing fame and fortune, but does progressively less work every day. She drinks some.
  • MARY LYNN RAJSKUB plays Julie's best friend and confidante who encourages her to continue on her quest. She drinks some.
  • JOAN JULIET BUCK plays the owner or manager of the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school who looks down her nose at Julia.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present (the most explicit being played for comedy), while some fooling around occurs and off-screen sex is implied.

    An old "Saturday Night Live" comedy skit features a character accidentally cutting their finger and bleeding profusely (but obviously faked). Drinking occurs in many scenes as does smoking. Bad attitudes are present, some related to tense family material, while some thematic material (including brief references to Senator McCarthy's actions in the 1950s) also occurs.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Eric has a drink and Julie then takes that from him and drinks from it.
  • People hold drinks at an art exhibit.
  • Paul and Julia have wine with dinner.
  • People have wine at a dinner party.
  • Julie must deal with her non-supportive mother on the phone, and Julie tries to explain what she's doing, saying that cooking is like AA in that it gives you something to do every day. Her mother then asks if she's an alcoholic (all played for humor on the part of the film).
  • Julie, Eric and Sarah have wine with a meal.
  • Julia and Paul have wine.
  • Paul pours wine for various people at a small gathering.
  • We see a martini by Paul.
  • Julie, Eric and others have wine, followed by champagne with dessert.
  • People have drinks at a reception, including Julia.
  • Eric has a martini.
  • Simone has wine.
  • Paul, Julia and her sister have wine.
  • People have drinks at a party in the past.
  • People have champagne at a wedding reception.
  • Julia, Simone and Louisette have wine.
  • Julie uses wine in her cooking.
  • Julie and Eric share a drink while watching TV.
  • Paul and Julia have wine.
  • Julia, Simone, Louisette and another woman have drinks.
  • Julie and Sarah have drinks.
  • Julia, Simone and another woman have drinks.
  • About potential good news regarding Julia's book, Paul says that calls for a great bottle of wine.
  • Eric holds a bottle of wine for an upcoming dinner.
  • Post-sex, Julie returns to bed with Eric, carrying drinks for them.
  • An editor uses wine in her cooking, following Julia's recipe.
  • Julie and others have wine at a dinner party.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a skit from "Saturday Night Live" where Dan Aykroyd imitates Julia Child and ends up cutting his/her finger, with fake blood running and spurting everywhere, soaking his/her clothing and the table, etc. (all played for exaggerated laughs).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • On several occasions, Madame Brassart is condescending toward Julia and her potential cooking abilities.
  • Some viewers might not like a scene where Julie puts live lobsters in boiling water to prepare them for a meal (despite or perhaps because of that being played for comedy).
  • Madame Brassart is referred to as a "bitch," while a frustrated Julie says about Julia's recipe, "The bitch lied."
  • Julie lies on her blog about being sick and unable to work one day (so that she can prepare food for an influential person).
  • Eric has a little bit of bad attitude toward Julie and her cooking blog, resulting in a quarrel between them that leads to him leaving their place (including overnight). They later make up and are fine.
  • Louisette thinks she deserves an equal share for the potential profits on the book, when it's Julia and Simone who are the ones doing the actual work.
  • We see Paul being questioned by a three-man panel working for Senator McCarthy, with one asking if he's a homosexual (Paul says no).
  • Julie's boss is upset with her calling in sick, and doesn't fire her, but says that a Republican would fire her (some viewers might not like that out-of-the-blue reference).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Some viewers might not like a scene where Julie puts live lobsters in boiling water to prepare them for a meal (despite or perhaps because of that being played for comedy).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • A woman makes a gun gesture to her head and then confirms that her husband killed himself sometime in the past (she does this fairly nonchalantly).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck them," "It feels like sh*t," "These damn things are as hot as a stiff c*ck," "Heartless bureaucrat goons," "Man up, kill the damn lobsters," "Shut up," "She's a bitch," "The bitch lied" and "I am a bitch."
  • The film could inspire some kids to try a similar quest as Julie's (making a number of recipes in a number of days).
  • Eric briefly hits rolled up socks with a tennis racket.
  • Julia blows a raspberry at Madame Brassart after she leaves the room.
  • Julie lies on her blog about being sick and unable to work one day (so that she can prepare food for an influential person).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 3 "s" words, 1 slang term for sex ("do it"), 1 for male genitals ("c*ck"), 4 damns, 1 ass (used with "hole"), 1 crap, 1 hell and 3 uses each of "Oh God" and "Oh my God."
  • Hearing that Julia reportedly hates her and her blog, Julie wonders if that's because of using the F word every so often in her writing (we don't hear or read any from her).
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Eric and Julie kiss on the sofa (clothed) and then lean back out of the camera shot as the scene ends.
  • Paul helps Julia translate French recipe directions into English, and then jokingly segues one part into something sexual by stating, "Until she just can't take it anymore.
  • Julia and Paul (both in robes) kiss on their bed and he then gets on top of her, but the scene ends.
  • About a mutual acquaintance and someone else, Sarah tells Julie and Eric that they "do it" in the air (while briefly rhythmically pointing up).
  • As we hear Julia describing her day in a letter to her friend, we see corresponding footage, including that regarding Paul "taking a nap," which is playful code for sex as we see Julia and Paul standing in the bedroom with her lowering his suspenders.
  • Pulling some cannelloni from hot water by bare hand while cooking, Julia jokes, "These damn things are as hot as a stiff c*ck."
  • Referring to Julia, Julie tells Eric that you can't ever tell about a person's sex life.
  • Julie and Eric passionately kiss while clothed.
  • Julie states that Julia was a virgin when she met Paul.
  • Eric playfully calls Julie as a regular caller at work, jokingly complaining that there's too much food and not enough sex.
  • Julia's sister mentions that their dad wanted them to stay in Pasadena, marry Republicans, and breed like rabbits.
  • A classic statue shows bare breasts.
  • We see Julia and Paul's bare shoulders as they sit in a bubble bath for a photo that will appear on their postcard.
  • We see Paul being questioned by a three-man panel working for Senator McCarthy, with one asking if he's a homosexual (Paul says no).
  • Eric and Julie make out on the sofa and we then see him carrying her, legs around his waist, toward the bedroom (and she's in just her bra, but all we see is the strap across her otherwise bare back). After they've presumably had sex, we see him roll over in bed shirtless, happy, and he states, "Thank you, God." She then returns to bed in just his dress shirt, and we later see her lying face down in the same, with the shirt barely covering her butt (we see bare leg up to that point).
  • SMOKING
  • Julia and Paul each smoke a number of times, while various minor and miscellaneous characters smoke in various scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Julie works at a government run call center regarding the World Trade Center site redevelopment as well as survivor rights, etc. We briefly see her pass by the construction site, and then taking calls, such as from one woman who says her son died in the second tower, etc.
  • Julie must deal with her non-supportive mother on the phone, and Julie tries to explain what she's doing, saying that cooking is like AA in that it gives you something to do every day. Her mother then asks if she's an alcoholic (all played for humor on the part of the film).
  • Julie has a frustration-based tantrum about her cooking, and that leads to a little bit of tension between her and Eric.
  • Julia and her dad quarrel over Senator McCarthy and his hunt for communists.
  • When Julia receives a letter from her sister stating the latter is pregnant, Julia is sad for herself (and an earlier forlorn look at a baby carriage indicates she either lost a child or is unable to have one).
  • A woman makes a gun gesture to her head and then confirms that her husband killed himself sometime in the past (she does this fairly nonchalantly).
  • Eric has a little bit of bad attitude toward Julie and her cooking blog, resulting in a quarrel between them that leads to him leaving their place (including overnight). They later make up and are fine.
  • Louisette announces she's getting divorced.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy and/or any artistic license taken with the two true stories as presented here.
  • The parallel quests of the two women in trying to find their calling in life.
  • Julie works at a government run call center regarding the World Trade Center site redevelopment as well as survivor rights, etc. We briefly see her pass by the construction site, and then taking calls, such as from one woman who says her son died in the second tower, etc.
  • Julie loves cooking because it's a release and a certainty -- if you follow directions, you know what you're going to get.
  • Julie thinking she has ADD because she never finishes anything.
  • Julia's love of butter.
  • Julia and her dad quarrel over Senator McCarthy and his hunt for communists.
  • We see Paul being questioned by a three-man panel working for Senator McCarthy, with one asking if he's a homosexual (Paul says no).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Julie has a frustration-based tantrum about her cooking, and kicks a trashcan.
  • We see a skit from "Saturday Night Live" where Dan Aykroyd imitates Julia Child and ends up cutting his/her finger, with fake blood running and spurting everywhere, soaking his/her clothing and the table, etc. (all played for exaggerated laughs).



  • Reviewed July 23, 2009 / Posted August 7, 2009

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