Following yesterday afternoon’s dress rehearsal of The Memory Of Water, I was looking to just relax in the evening with a glass or two of the red stuff. It was my last free evening for six nights as the performance time has come.
So there I was, rehearsal behind me, family dinner cooked, consumed and generally out of the way, red stuff opened and breathing and remote control at the ready. Flicking through the channel guide, it was soon obviously apparent that there was nothing, and I do mean nothing on to clear my mind and not have to concentrate too hard on.
Remind me why we pay a television licence fee? Saturday’s licence fee paying channel had sport on for something like 13 hours, and that wasn’t just in the day time. No, it was 13 straight hours from midday to 1am. Now, I like certain sports, and yes, as it happens some of what was shown on Saturday night, the rugby, counts as one of those sports. If I lived alone and had chosen to spend the night at home, I would probably have been watching the rugby. But I don’t! There is no way She Who Must Be Obeyed would want rugby on all evening.
And then Sunday evening there was just nothing on that we watch or hadn’t already seen before. As it happened, I had a DVD to watch. I subscribe to one of those DVD services which send through the post a DVD. You watch it and post it back. They then send another, and so the cycle goes on.
Sometimes I am not very good at updating my list of DVDs I would like them to send so they send out something they think I’d like to watch. This of course is some complicated algorithm based on films I’ve requested and actually bears no comparison to what I would truly like to watch.
So the film I had was Julie & Julia. I didn’t know anything about this film except it was about a cook and was billed as a comedy. I didn’t know it was based on true life; that the cook in the film, Julia Child, was a real American legend – a bit like our own Fanny Craddock or Delia Smith. Or that the Julie was a real person who had written a blog about following Julia. Confused? Stick with me.
Suddenly my interest level in the film increased. After all, I love cooking – I do all the cooking in our house. I like holding dinner parties and trying out a new recipe. And of course, I have just started blogging. So what could be better, a Sunday evening cuddled up to She Who Must Be Obeyed with a glass of the red stuff in one hand watching this hilarious comedy about two of my interests? What indeed?
As it turned out, almost any of the television programmes I didn’t want to watch or had seen before. Even dare I say it, 13 hours of sport!
I don’t know where to begin with this film! Unfortunately, once you spot something annoying in a film, you constantly see it. So what was so annoying? Well to start with the cinematography made the actress playing Julia Child – Meryl Streep, look abnormally huge. Ms Streep is not a very tall actress, but she was made to look taller than her on screen husband played by Stanley Tucci. He is also not that tall, but he is taller than her. In fact I would go as far as saying that Ms Streep looked more like Hagrid in the Harry Potter films. She was constantly being made to look larger than everyone around her and in some cases out of proportion.
It may be that the real Julia was a large lady, so why didn’t a large lady play her? Well that was apparently because Ms Streep does a pretty mean impression of her. But to us non Americans, her portrayal was more like an overacted collection of mannerisms of an ungamely woman who constantly appeared drunk!
The film jumped around from Julia learning her trade in France in the 1960’s to Julie writing her blog in 2002. That wasn’t an issue, but the blog writing part of the film seemed fairly pointless and the French cooking part wasn’t enough to make a film on its own. Sadly the film just didn’t deliver on any count. I’m not sure I found anything funny. Perhaps I have it all wrong; perhaps it was never billed as a comedy. Perhaps it was just a biographical recount of two ladies lives. At the very end we learn that Julia didn’t like Julie’s blog – but we don’t find out why!
So my relaxing chilled out evening turned into one of frustration. The company was of course excellent as was the red stuff.
Now, following my rather critical review of this film – not the actors – I’d better be on the ball tonight. Mine is only one person’s opinion, but there’ll be a full house every night this week and they might just be harsher critics than I!!