We finally went to see Julie & Julia. I loved the Julia Child parts. I hated the Julie Powell parts. But let me explain.
At first, I had some sympathy for Julie. After all, I remember that feeling of life slipping away, of wanting to “do” something, to “be” somebody. But as her story progressed, all I could see was a woman becoming more and more enamored of herself, of her accomplishment. The most telling line came when her husband asked, “What are you going to do when you aren’t the center of the universe anymore?”
Contrast this with Julia Child, who enjoyed cooking for herself and her husband, her friends and her family. She wanted to be good at what she did. She wanted to fill her time with something worthwhile. She didn’t cook to become somebody. She knew who she was and was comfortable in that. She pursued her passion, and after years and years of work, her cookbook got published. But her cookbook and television success didn’t define her. It was simply an outgrowth of who she was. The cooking blog seemed the other way around for Julie—a desperate attempt for definition. At least in how it was portrayed in the movie. (I confess I have not read the book, so I don’t know if the movie was accurate.)
The most astounding thing? My 18-year-old daughter told me the same thing the day she saw it. I was amazed. At 18, I was definitely in the “trying to define myself” mode. In fact, I wandered that road for a very long time. After years of inner turmoil, I found my peace by pressing into Jesus. He gave me a deeper understanding of how much He loves me and of what He desires for my life. In Julie & Julia, the contrast between the settled and the seeking becomes so painfully apparent.