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Julie and Julia is a 2009 film based on a 2006 memoir titled "Julia & Julia". It tells two stories that, while related, never quite intersect.
One story is about Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams). Julie is a government worker and unsuccessful writer who has just moved to a depressing part of Queens for a larger apartment (relatively speaking) and to be closer to her husband's place of work. Her work is depressing -- the year is 2002, and she is dealing with a lot of calls related to 9/11. When she learns that one of her friends, one she considers vapid, is writing a blog, she wants to write one herself. She and her husband discuss what it should be about, because it is supposed to be a distraction from her depressing life. They finally decide it should be about cooking. She has a copy of Julia Child's cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and so she decides to cook every recipe in it in one year (please note that there are over five hundred recipes included in it). This, even though she has a husband, a job, and a cat, and is only home in the late evening. It quickly becomes an obsession.
The other story is about Julia Child herself (played by the great Meryl Streep) and how she came to (help) write that cookbook and become a great cook. We meet her in the beginning of the film in the late 1940s, when she moves to Paris. She is the life of the party, so exuberant that most people love her despite her impropriety, which is good because she is married to a diplomat. Now, the wives of diplomats are rarely required to do anything; Julia knows she needs to do something to keep from going crazy. After unsuccessful (as in unenjoyable) attempts at hatmaking and learning to play bridge, she decides to take a cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu. On determining that she already knows what the cooking course is attempting to teach her, she asks the woman running the place (who is one of the few people who dislike her, and the feeling becomes mutual) if there is anything more advanced. There is--the course for professional chefs. So Julia takes that one and loves it...
- Broken Pedestal: While still very personable and nice, Julia is revealed to be far from prudish about sex (breaking any notions of reserved '40s-'50s housewife stereotypes), and while Julie is inspired by Julia's adventures in cooking, her heroine's only response upon hearing of the blog project is to regard it with disdain as "missing the point" of her book.
- Cute Kitten
- Doorstopper: The cookbook. This is a plot point in both stories. (Though surprisingly not to the same degree as Julia's later solo work, The Way To Cook.)
- Food Porn: If you watch this film and don't feel hungry afterwards, then you either hate food or were sitting there with your eyes closed the whole time.
- Happily Married: Julia and Paul, very much so despite never being able to have children. Julie and Eric... yes and no (see Funny Aneurysm Moment under the YMMV tag).
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Hey, Sue Sylvester is Julia's sister Dorothy!
- Inspired By: Two true stories. Both the memoir noted above and Julia Child's autobiography My Life in France were used for this film.
- Large Ham: Meryl Streep, because Julia Child was like that.
- Loving a Shadow: In the platonic sense.
- One-Scene Wonder: Jane Lynch as Julia's sister.
- OSS: Paul and Julia met During the War while working abroad.
- Painting the Fourth Wall: During the Where Are They Now cards at the end.
- Red Scare: This ends up causing problems for Paul and Julia.
- Scully Box: Done (at least with camera angles and digital technology) in order to make Streep look 6'2.
- A Simple Plan
- That Poor Cat: When Julie has a tantrum and throws things, we hear a cat yowl. More Jerkass than usual for this trope, as the cat is supposed to be Julie's beloved pet.
- True Companions: Julie starts with these; Julia gains them.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: Unusual because the lines don't quite cross. Julie does hear about Julia's distaste of the project, however.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: When Julia's sister comes to visit, Julia intends on setting her up with a tall, dark and handsome colleague of her husband. Instead, the sister is seen getting flirty with a short, smarmy-looking friend of theirs who makes her laugh. They eventually marry and have a family.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Julia and Simca, who ultimately parted ways over Mastering volume 3 (which was eventually published as Simca's Cuisine, without Julia's collaboration). They did remain friends but never collaborated again.
- Where Are They Now