Cooks Come Out on Top

My gosh, could any woman equal Meryl Streep when it comes to acting ability? She is one gifted woman in that department, for sure.

I haven’t seen Rikky and the Flash yet. I wanted to catch it in theaters, but I missed it, so I’ll have to wait for it on DVD and watch it on my computer, unless by then I actually own a TV. (About the TV—I’m still trying to figure out what size to buy. I’m thinking between 42” and 48”. I think anything bigger will dwarf my living room and I’ll have to stand at the far end of the hall to see the picture without going bug-eyed. My son, however, would most like a TV that’s 65” or bigger. Yes. He’s 16. Need I say more?)

Back to Meryl Streep. The last movie I saw her in was Julie and Julia, and I liked it so much I bought it. Well, to be accurate, I was given it, for Christmas.

In this movie, Streep plays Julia Child. Now, I’d never watched old TV shows with Julie Child in them, so I didn’t know how she talked. Since seeing the movie, I have. It’s uncanny how close Street comes to matching Child’s speaking style. So funny! I hardly know how to describe it. It’s kind of croaky and sharp and abrupt, all at once. Not at all a soothing, comforting, or sexy voice.

I never knew that Child spent quite a few years in Europe, since her husband served in various cities there with the US government. And I didn’t know that she suffered the pain of infertility (the movie touches on this in an understated way).

Child got into a selective cooking school in Paris, mostly by her own determination and moxie, and kind of showed up the other male chefs. She plunged into the courses with her whole heart. You see her chopping up pounds and pounds of onions, just to get her dicing technique refined. You see her wrestling with raw chickens, practicing and practicing what she is being taught at the school. She was unstoppable in her resolve to learn how to cook like the French and teach Americans how to cook the same way.

Her modern-day counterpart, Julie, goes through Child’s famous cookbook, The Joy of Cooking, and makes every single recipe and blogs about the experience. She collects followers of her blog, and by the end of the movie, has her phone ringing off the hook with publishers who want to buy her story. (Or producers who want to make a movie of it, or something of the like.)

It’s just an awesome movie. Two women in different places and stations, both who love cooking, who want to do something different with their lives, and who actually pull it off, because of their resolve and vision and focus. It’s a feel-good movie that is made more feel-good because you know that the Julie Child part of the story is actually true! I like that.