In an odd confluence of events that occurs, oh, about once every 3-5 years, a friend wanted to see a first-run movie that interested me on a night where I had nothing going on. So we went, along with two other friends. And can I say that it felt an awful lot like coming out of a cave after a long hibernation? We all blanched at the ticket price and gagged at the outrageous cost for popcorn and drinks. I'm a cheapie theatre buff who goes back for the free refills on my small popcorn that I'm sharing with my three children. This truly was a splurge. But it was worth it.
We saw Julie & Julia. I had read reviews of the book when it came out. Since I'm not a foodie, I had no desire to read it. But seeing the movie, I really related to Julie Powell. True story: she was a wanna-be writer, working as a secretary for the government resolving post 9-11 settlements. Cooking was her source of comfort. So her husband encouraged her to start a blog and she came up with the idea of cooking her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Hence The Julie/Julia Project is born.
It was so funny to watch them set up her blog and then her early days of wondering whether anyone is actually reading. All of us bloggers can relate, no? Then our paths diverge. She gets fan mail from readers who send her food for her recipes (okay, so c'mon y'all - where's my fan mail? How about some craft supplies? JK!). Soon she's featured in the New York Times and gets dozens of phone calls from agents and publishers begging to sign her on for a book and later on that book becomes a movie (can you guess which one?). I'm sure that will all happen for me once everyone gets the clue that it's all about the fan mail and if you never send it, I'll never get that interview and all those contracts.
Then there were the shifts over to Julia Child's story. One word: fascinating. Meryl Streep gave a great performance. I mean, to hear her was to hear Julia Child all over again. And I found myself nodding and laughing through the interactions with publishers and editors. Particularly the scene where she furtively opens a letter from the publisher, wondering whether it will be good news or bad. Yes! That's how it goes! No one ever opens those letters or emails without a bit of hesitation and trepidation. What if it's a rejection? Is it too much to hope it's not? I'm pretty sure I was the only one in the theater that sat there shaking their head at how totally true that scene was. I've been there. Hopefully I'll be there again someday. That is how it is! Oh, except I'm not sure if my husband would jump up and down and shout for joy with me if I ever actually get one of those good letters again. He usually just gives me a "that's nice" and let's me do the jumping up and down by myself. But I do jump. And I think most writers do.
So the evening really was one of those once-in-a-long-time events (except for an eventful attempt to go to Starbucks, which you can read about here). A fun time out with friends, no child on my lap for a movie that I actually wanted to see and wasn't watching for the sake of my children or husband. A nice way to end "Back to School Week".