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juliachildI saw this film several weeks ago. I really enjoyed the film, but not just because I love to cook and eat authenticaly cooked food. I loved that the movie really struck a chord with me as a female entrepreneur who is following a dream, and that it’s inspiring and uplifting, and a reminder to live life to the fullest. For those who haven’t seen it, Julie is a young cube-worker-bee with what seems to be a dead-end job while what she really wants to do is write and cook – both of which she does around her 9-5 job as she cooks and blogs her way through one of Julia Child’s cookbooks.

What Julie and Julia Can Teach Us About How to Live

  • Zest for life
  • Questioning life
  • Unconditional love (Julia shows toward her husband and sister)
  • Unabashedly expressing emotion – coming into ones own skin and being who you really are
  • Follow passion – even if it’s not popular
  • Balancing life. All women I know strive for balance but it’s momentary, and more important than always trying to achieve balance may be relishing those moments when things ARE balanced

When I went to see this film, I expected two things. That I would learn more about and have greater respect for Julia Child, the chef, and that I would relish in the experience Julie has teaching herself how to cook from Julia’s recipes over the course of a year. I’m always delighted when a film touches me deeper than I expected (usually a tell tale sign of a great film). This one did, many times over.

Much more than we learn about her cookery, we learn a great deal about Julia’s zest for life, which translates into her culinary success, to most who know of her. But Julia’s zest for life transpired her cooking and we get a good glimpse of that throughout the movie. She ably switched gears and could ‘go with the flow’ wherever life took her. While her husband’s job took the two to various locales without much notice, she was quick to embrace new cultures, learn, and take advantage of the bounty available to her. Her passion for life was present both inside and outside of the kitchen.

Along with this passion for life, Julia regularly questioned ‘the norm’. She questioned her role as a housewife, and why women weren’t enrolled in top culinary schools. When she found there was no good reason for this, she persisted, and got herself into the famed Le Cordon Blue, being the first woman ever to do so. She pushed herself out of that comfort zone and grew because of it.

By now it’s not surprising to learn that Julia’s love was unconditional. She (or at least Meryl Streep portrays her as) deeply cares for her husband and her sister and is supportive of each, but we particularly see this with her relationship with her husband. Watching it will make you want to be a better person! I loved that this movie transcended the too common pettiness commonly portrayed by many female roles on TV and in film today. Even while one of Julia’s friends didn’t pull her weight in the venture they started with a third woman, the other two didn’t sit around and gripe about the third. Julia, instead, thought more to deal with it head on and then move on.

Julia is not shy. She is comfortable in her own skin, even though we can imagine as we watch her six-foot (maybe more!) frame hobble around sometimes that it might not have been easy for her. I love that she doesn’t care what other people think. She just is, her zestful self. And in that, she is content.

Although it’s not typical, a surefire way to make friends, or even fun at first, Julia follows her passion and does what she believes she really wants to do. She is fearless, enters classes full of men who have been cooking for years, and does her best to keep up, to learn as much as possible, all because she has a passion and believes this is what will make her the best chef she can be. There were plenty of easier roads to becoming a better chef, but Julia’s passion and persistence led her to get the best training possible.

Finally, despite throwing herself into her passion, Julia seems to have good friends, that great relationship with her husband, and a well roundedness about her that is almost enviable. I know, it’s a movie, but still. The reality seems to be that she probably didn’t have a lot of balance all the time, particularly when writing an ginormous cookbook, and taking intensive culinary classes. Butcha know what? Balance is fleeting. It’s a give and take, a constant tipping back and forth of the scales and sometimes if we’re lucky everything evens out. Worrying about it, spending energy and time trying to achieve it, is only likely to remind us how much we have to juggle. The point is to enjoy it all, and sometimes you simply cannot enjoy it all at once, but that’s ok.

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