Monday, August 10, 2009

Julie & Julia... a warning!

I had something else to write about today but after walking through Border's Sunday afternoon and seeing the book Julie & Julia everywhere (because of the movie), I had to write this warning today. I've never given a book warning before! I don't remember reading another book that was such a letdown.

It is the only book I have ever given a "1" to as an Amazon reviewer and I made certain to give it a review when the new mass market version came out. I did find it amusing to read through other reviewers comments and find a few who said the only reason someone would give it a bad review is because they were right winged Republicans. Sheesh...

Now, I understand this is based on a really charming and cute idea, that is why I brought the book home from the library in the first place when it came out. I was shocked! Do not let your young ladies near this book. It is full of vile language and while part of the book is about cooking Julia's recipes, much of it is about this woman and her perspective on life... defiling to say the least.

I have found it interesting to have it recommended on a couple blogs I usually enjoy. I don't know if it is a generational thing but I find vulgar talk with the effe word thrown in here and there not to be enjoyable (and what it has to do with cooking one's way through The French Chef is beyond me).

That is what this author is like. I stopped reading it after the third or fourth chapter because I felt I had to wash my hands as well as my brain. Ugh... If you find you must check out the book, do that... check it out of the library and don't spend good money for it. Was I ever glad I had only checked it out and could give it back. Just make certain once again your young ladies don't check it out.

I enjoyed Julia's biography, My Life In France. It is always interesting to me how seemingly small decisions in our life can change its' entire direction. It is also the story of a woman who found love just a little later in life and the romance she and her husband had throughout their many years together. Child was not conservative in her beliefs but she was always regal, kind, and a great lady.

If you want to read an excellent autobiography by another of my favorite chefs, I highly recommend The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pepin. He is just as much a gentleman as Julia was a lady. His story is also fascinating from his childhood in WWII France through being part of the early beginnings of the renaissance of fine cooking here in the United States.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the book but the movie was really good. Lots of cooking. I couldn't wait to get home and plan some new menus for my family.

Raquel said...

I so agree with you. Like you, I had read the earlier book about Julia and really enjoyed it. I believe I have read the one about Pepin as well. But this book - ugh! By the end of the second page, I banged the cover shut and immediately put it in my back to the library stack. Hope you had a great day today! Much love - Raquel XO

Anonymous said...

Someone I went to school with posted a review on facebook that it was the worst book she'd ever read...and she's not even all that conservative in her views. Also, she and some friends had plans to see the movie and were rethinking it based on her experience with the book. Like you said, why ruin such a great idea??

:) Steph...who can't post on here other than anonymously or it will erase my carefully crafted comment...

Love the Decor! said...

I had the same experience with the book. I am so dissapointed with the language etc. that I am throwing the book away (and I never ever do that.) I hope the movie is much much better. I think I will wait to hear from others how it is prior to going and seeing it myself.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brenda for the warning. I also checked this book our from the library quite some time ago. I thought the same as you, "Interesting concept." I was also very put off by the language. At times, a bit shocked. Not for young readers, for certain.

I am wondering about the movie. Would like to see it - but probably won't due to the book.

I appreciate all you do.

Lori in PA

Marianna said...

I've not read the book...I tend to stay away from over hyped books! I was wanting to see the movie until the review came out in the paper Friday. The reviewer said much the same you did. She/he (I don't remember which it was) was not fond of the "Julie" parts of the movie and wished Ephron had focused on Ms. Child as hers is the interesting story to tell.

Mrs.Rabe said...

Thanks for that warning! My niece, who wants to be a pastry chef, is dying to see the movie...I doubt she'll read the book - I will mention your warning to her...

Lisa Richards said...

Thanks for this perspective! I've heard a lot of positive things about the movie, so I'll have to rethink going. Do you suppose they cleaned it up for the movie?

=0(

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Haven't read the book, but I agree about the use of the ***** word...and the increasing use of "popular" authors taking the Lord's name in vain. I just see it over and over....do that many people really use the *** word and take the Lord's name in vain in everyday conversations? Maybe I'm just sheltered, I don't know. But I do know that it hurts me that my grand-nephews are growing up where this is part of our everyday culture...sorry for ranting, Brenda.

Beth said...

Thank you so much for your warning. I thought it would be a fun and entertaining date for my husband and myself to go see the movie...(I don't even know what it is rated...I never see rated R and usually don't watch pg13 either) we rarely do that...The Love Dare being the only one we have seen in recent years. I am very careful what I watch and read and am careful with my children as well, so I appreciate your warning!

lisazahnwrites said...

I haven't read the book, but I thoroughly enjoyed the movie! And it was quite "PG". Of course, Meryl Streep is fabulous as Julia Child. I was happy to learn more about Julia, the woman. It was fun.

scrappy quilter said...

I haven't read the book, nor have I seen the movie and don't plan to. I'm with you, I have no time for books that have vulgar language or a bunch of bedroom scenes. There are just too many good books out there to spend my time reading garbage (even if the story is good). I applaud you for taking this stand!!

DarcyLee said...

I know how you feel. I don't get why authors feel like they have to use profanity to tell a story. I, too, feel dirty after reading things like that. It's the same with movies. I guess that's why I keep with the classics much of the time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the warning...am I wrong..the movie is the book made into a movie? I am sooo out of touch with the world! :) I therefore will not see the movie if it follows the book. Double thanks for the warning!! Are they making it look like Julia acted like that?? If so her family must be upset! The tv ads do not show any of this vulgarity. Jody

Heather L. said...

I echo your sentiments exactly! I had to quit the book because I just couldn't take the onslaught of language. From what I hear, the movie may be cleaner (I really, really hope so) and it sounds like they've tried to sweeten up the Julie character.

I also enjoyed Child's biography and learned so much! Highly recommend that and Jacques Pepin's book too. My family is a big fan of Pepin.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Thank you for this warning. V and I are very attracted by the movie and have planned to take our friends, the TNT's on a girls' night out to see it. We will skp the book on you recommendation. I will get the Pepin book...I think he's great. C

Anonymous said...

I looked at the book in a bookstore and could tell it was one that would not be edifying.
I too really enjoyed the books about Julia Child and Jacques Pepin. They are running the series on our PBS channel where the two of them cook together and you can see the difference in their backgrounds as they work together. Jacques is a bit more frugal and tries to use up everything, while Julia is a little more extravagant. Both are very good teachers and I have learned a lot of good tips by watching them.

Marie said...

Thanks for the warning. I don't like to see or hear that word. The clips from the movie shown on TV looked interesting but we don't go out to the movie.

Diane Makaiwi said...

I have not read the book, but I did enjoy the movie. Merle Streep was amazing as Julia. It inspired my husband and me to go out for French food right after the movie. I think the movie left out a lot of what you find repulsive about the book. There was a couple of f words, which I always think are unnecessary, but the story of Julia was inspiring.

Anonymous said...

I think this may be one time not to judge the movie by the book. I understand that Julia's story was based on a biography written by Alex Prudhome. My husband and I saw the movie on Sunday and Merle Streep was amazing as Julia. There were a couple of unnecessary f words, but the story was engaging. I especially liked when it focused on Julia's life. We were so inspired to find a French restaurant after we saw it.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

When I saw the previews I thought it might be a cute movie, but we always check the Focus on the Family "Plugged In" movie reviews. They give you a full synopsis and you can then make your choice whether to see it or not. My granddaughter loves the Food Channel and is crazy about Alton Brown. I thought this would be neat for her until I read about the F bombs and taking the Lord's name in vain. It's a shame movie makers feel they must stick bad language in their movies to sell them. My relatives think we are prudes, but that's just how we feel about it. Thanks for your opinion of the book. I always enjoy your posts.

Anonymous said...

I actually really enjoyed the movie a whole lot. Haven't seen the book -- didn't even know there WAS a book till the credits at the end of the movie. There may have been some language, and there were a few not-too-explicit s*x scenes -- one of which might have been slightly off (man carrying woman across apartment in her undergarments). But mostly I thought BOTH couples came off as really nice (mostly).

As for the language -- sorry -- didn't notice it a lot. I really do cringe when people (including relatives, sigh) use the Lord's name in vain. AS for the other, if there's a lot of it, I HATE it, but occasionally...I guess it went by me.

My hubby liked it, too. He isn't ONLY a "guy-film" guy, though he does enjoy action movies at times too. :-)

Susan (DE)

Rhonda in OK said...

Thanks for the warning - I rarely go to the movies and been considering this one because the plot looks so sweet
but like you, bad language just annoys me to no end. I do not enjoy any movie full of profanity.

Barb J. said...

I was considering this... now I know. Thanks for the warning!

Robin in New Jersey said...

Thank you for the heads up about the book. I think I will skip it. I hate it when I am enjoying a book and the f word gets thrown in there. What for? I was reading a book once, can't remember which one, got three quarters of the way through and the f word was thrown in. I was shocked and annoyed.

matty said...

Just saw the movie today with my best friend. I specifically paid attention to the langauge because of the discussions we have had here. I heard three "blue words" and one "f" word. I did not hear the Lord's name in vain. Amy Adams is a devout Christian; from all that I have read about her and seen of her on TV, I felt the movie did not compromise her example. There was no nudity or sex; the one scene mentioned here was filmed from the back and showed no more than a bathing suit would have. Of course, the implication was there, but it was so subtle, in my mind, that I was not embarrassed.

The movie, in my humble opinion, was not as much about cooking as it was about finding one's self through finding one's passion. Set in the days and months after 9/11, the story brings up what many of us may have thought about life and how to have more meaning in it during those dark days. The reflective nature of the FILM made me consider how each of us define success, value, and relationships. Seeing how Julie struggles with this in her gal pal relationships and thinking of how a woman far removed from her own life impacts that discovery reminded me of how Tasha Tudor has inspired my own life. Seeing others "living the life imagined in quiet hours" is inspirational, don't you agree?

What I REALLY liked was the fleshing out of Julia Child. I always liked her and had a great laugh, sometimes, at her over the top voice. However, to learn about how tenderly her husband loved her, her sadness of not having a child, and her continuing search for her "place" in life was quite fascinating. The film did make me want to read about her more and even try some of her recipes.

All in all, I am so grateful for the conversation here about morals, langauge, and such. I hear so much vulgar langauge from my college students that I sometimes get rather 'numb' to it. Knowing that Mums and the many other important women in young people's lives reassures me that we will return to civility.

Brenda! You are to be congratuated for inspiring such interesting and thoughtful conversations!

Take care.. M