Who has seen the film Julie and Julia? My mum watched it on the plane and told me it was the best film she'd seen in ages. Eventually I got it from the pirate video rental place and have to agree - it was great and very funny in places. I watched it with my husband (he's a sucker for girly films fortunately).
For those that haven't seen it, it's about a blogger who hates her job but loves cooking, decided to work her way through Julia Child's huge cookbook, recipe by x524 recipes in 365 days and blog about it... Through this she gets the book deal, the film deal too. It's a lovely story and as much about the rather fascinating and resilient Julia Child as it is about the New York blogger.
My best bit was seeing Julia Child admiring herself and her sister in a long mirror just before a cocktail party. 'Not bad, not very bad!' says Julia Child before adding, 'but then not that good either' and both sisters burst out laughing.
I think both Amy Adams and Meryl Streep are brilliant, so it wasn't hard to see the appeal of the movie.
I do have just one teensy problem with it though.... I'm a blogger ergo, I'm jealous. It's terrible being this shallow. I am my own worst enemy but I just can't help it. I reckon that if we are honest, blogging brings out the nasty side in all of us - it's the old frustrated writer's naked ambition laid bare coupled with coping with the odd hurtful, mean old comments sent in from people who think you are expounding on endless rubbish (which if I'm honest again, I am). It usually touches on a raw nerve.
I challenge any blogger to post a comment saying that they are not in the least bit piqued by a fellow blogger's success. It's awful to admit but it's true. (or is it just me?). I imagine it's a bit like throwing a bunch of ambitious actors together. It gets bitchy. We all do it because we like writing and ultimately hope for a little more than writing for writing's sake.
When Julia Powell mentioned getting 54 comments on her 'killing the lobster' post, I prickled. '54 comments! I've never had that many before,' I said to my husband. 'how come her blog got popular so quickly?' I think he stayed quiet.
We/my husband also particularly enjoyed the bit in the film that showed an argument going on between Julia and her other half that went along the lines of the husband saying, 'it's all about you and your xxxxing blog isn't it!' At which my husband said heartily, 'Wow, I can relate to this!'
When Julia Powell got interviewed by the New York Times toward the end of the film, I thought, good for her! (Heck, my blog has been in the newspapers before, so it's OK for her's to make it too). But when, as a result of the NYT interview, I watched her answer machine go crazy with 36 messages from agents, publishers, film makers all gushing - I nearly had to leave the room. I swivelled round to my husband accusingly, 'is this film really true? They must have exaggerated this bit? Surely!! I know that the bit about Julia Child is true, but the Julia Powell bit must be made up isn't it?' My husband, reading the back of the box says, 'No, says here, based on a true story'
You see, when my blog was quoted in the UK broadsheets, one single agent approach me (bless her). And after sweating blood for a few weeks and writing a proposal or two for her- (thanks for all your support family and friends!!), she told me politely that she might 'bow out' of the project this time. Sob. self indulgent sob.
Julia Powell is the same age as me (give or take) - started her blog one year before. She has now written two books and is asked to do countless other writing... Let's face it, she's a success.
What I think I'm going to do is take a deep breath, take the moral high ground and applaud her for being a better writer than any of us fellow bloggers aspiring to being published.
Then I will cry into my pillow and ask myself why I still bother.... (only joking!! - but doesn't it bug you too?!?)