The frenzy of commercials leading up to today’s release of Julia & Julia was so feverish that I didn’t know if I could enjoy it. Like sitting down to a meal when you’re already full, it was just too much. Though I haven’t read the Julie Powell book, I loved My Life in France and really wanted it to be great. I hadn’t planned on seeing it opening day, but after having one of those strange bumper car mornings where nothing goes right, I went to a late afternoon show. Early enough for a healthy senior turnout, I walked into the theater and saw a sea of white hair. I knew this was the perfect audience to see it with. I also knew that the aisle seats would already be taken.
Like most people my age who love food, I remember what it was like to discover Julia Child for the first time and the wave of affection you feel for her from the first recipe. As in the movie, I made my own pilgrimage to the Smithsonian’s installation of Julia Child’s Cambridge kitchen in January. The thrill of seeing her work space tempered by the heavy glass surrounding it. Watching her brought to life, surrounded by people who from their stage whispered asides and easy laughter of recognition had such vivid memories of her initial impact, I let go of my expectations and let myself imagine what life may have been like behind the glass. Bon appétit!